DENVER, Colorado — EnCana Oil & Gas (USA), the Canada-based industrial giant that is active in Colorado’s natural gas fields, this week announced that it is putting its money where its ve
hicle fleet is … in a public relations sense.
The company has embarked on a plan of converting a number of its Colorado vehicles to run on compressed natural gas, or CNG, both as a way of ultimately reducing its “environmental footprint” and to encourage the public to look more favorably on CNG as a viable altern
ative for gasoline in the U.S. transportation market.
According to a company sta
tement, the conversion program, named “Drive Natural Gas Vehicles,” will be the subject of a public meeting in Rifle today, starting at noon at the CMC Rifle facility, as part of the company’s “consumer- and industry-focused education campaign about natural gas as a transportation fuel.” Although this first meeting is intended more for corporate and government operators of vehicle fleets, company officials said no one will be turned away and that there will be future meetings where the public will be the target audience.
The company has started converting its
fleet of F-250 pickup trucks to run on natural gas, and has bought eight Honda Civic GX sedans for employees not signed up to use the pickups. The Hondas are to be used across the company’s regional footprint — four in Denver, one in Parachute, two in Texas, and one in Wyoming — and employees are being trained in the use of the cars before they can take them out.
The plan is to have 52 “bi-fuel” vehicle
s, running either on CNG or gasoline, by the end of 2011, according to Wendy Wiedenbeck, community relations adviser for EnCana, and David Hill, who is leading the conversion program. Hill said that would amount to about 30 percent of the company’s fleet in the “Southern Rockies” region, andಊ percent of its entire U.S. fleet.
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