This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 10, 2011

Energy Secretary Steven Chu Highlights Grand Opening of Natural Gas Fueling Station in Omaha

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu issued the following statement celebrating today's grand opening of a public compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in Omaha, Nebraska. Funded in part through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the station is the first public CNG station in Nebraska.

"This project illustrates how the Recovery Act is supporting the President's goal to reduce oil imports by one-third by 2025 and advancing clean energy technologies that can strengthen our nation's competitive edge," said Secretary Chu. "By expanding the use of alternative fuels such as natural gas, this project will increase our nation's energy security while reducing carbon pollution and lowering fuel costs for American businesses."


The Omaha opening is part of the larger Metropolitan Energy Center's Midwest Region Alternative Fuels Project, which was awarded $15 million in Recovery Act funding through DOE's Clean Cities initiative. The initiative invested a total of $300 million under the Recovery Act in the 25 Clean Cities alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle projects. The partners in the Midwest Region Alternative Fuels Project include several city governments in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska school districts, universities, and local businesses, which together contributed $16.7 million in cost-shared funding.

When completed, the project will deploy approximately 350 alternative fuel vehicles and install or upgrade 29 alternative fueling or charging stations. The public CNG fueling station that opened today in Omaha will be operated by I-80 Fuels and will allow both fleets and individuals to fill their vehicles with this alternative fuel. Overall, the project is expected to displace more than 548,000 gasoline gallon equivalents per year and annually reduce more than 848,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. It will also help local businesses support the use of alternative transportation fuels that diversify the nation's energy resources. For example, Happy Cab—an Omaha company—plans to save more than $130,000 a year on fuel by converting 50 taxi cabs to burn natural gas under the project.

The Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Program works with industry leaders to develop and deploy advanced transportation technologies. The Vehicle Technology Program's Clean Cities initiative supports local decisions to reduce petroleum consumption in transportation.

To learn more about DOE's Recovery Act investments, see the DOE's Recovery Act website.