Natural Gas – Conversions, Vehicles and Technology

Alternative Fuels Gaining Speed in Dallas-Fort Worth

September 2012, Green Fleet Magazine - Feature

by Julie Sutor, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

T. Boone Pickens (center) poses with Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities staff (from left, Kenny Bergstrom, Kimberlin To, Pamela Burns, and Mindy Mize) at the Fuel City CNG station opening.
T. Boone Pickens (center) poses with Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities staff (from left, Kenny Bergstrom, Kimberlin To, Pamela Burns, and Mindy Mize) at the Fuel City CNG station opening.

Hollywood may have many people believing that the Dallas-Fort Worth area is overrun with uber-rich Texas oil barons peddling black gold. But, in fact, from an energy perspective, there’s a lot more to this immense metropolitan area in north-central Texas. It’s nothing short of a hotbed for alternative-fuel deployment.

With help from Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities (DFWCC), some of the area’s largest vehicle fleets are using biodiesel, ethanol, natural gas, propane autogas, and electricity to displace millions of gallons of petroleum every year. In 2011 alone, DFWCC members averted using more than 12 million gallons of petroleum fuels.

“That’s what’s most rewarding about this work,” said DFWCC Coordinator Pamela Burns, who came onboard with the organization in 2006. “When you’re driving down the street or talking with fleet managers, you can see first hand that the coalition’s efforts are making a difference on the ground every single day.”

DFWCC is housed within the North Central Texas Council of Governments and comprises 322 local stakeholders, roughly half of which come from the private sector.

The City of Fort Worth is among those leading the charge, with plans under way to construct an E-85 fueling infrastructure for its 600-plus flexible-fuel vehicles. The city also has plans to deploy natural gas, and already operates hundreds of vehicles that run on propane autogas, electricity, or biodiesel blends.

Other heavy hitters include Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and the cities of Dallas and Denton, Texas. In some cases, these larger fleets stoke demand for public fueling infrastructure that, in turn, facilitates deployment for smaller fleets.
“With multiple publicly accessible natural gas stations on or near airport property, many of the taxis going in and out use natural gas,” Burns said.

Get Involved With Clean Cities
Through the work of nearly 100 local coalitions, Clean Cities advances the nation’s economic, environmental, and energy security by reducing petroleum use in transportation. Clean Cities is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy. Find out more at www.cleancities.energy.gov.

For more information about DFWCC, visit www.nctcog.org/trans/clean/cities or
e-mail Pamela Burns at [email protected]

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