July 10, 2012. West Virginia can be a leader for energy independence by taking advantage of its abundance of natural gas, a candidate for governor said. The state can set the example for the rest of the nation by converting government vehicle fleets to natural gas, particularly larger trucks and buses, Republican Bill Maloney said.
"If you can lead, others will follow," said Maloney, a Morgantown businessman who is running against incumbent Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat. The general election is in November.
"Never before have we seen such glaring price disparities between coal and natural gas," he said. "Despite the government's constant meddling, global markets will eventually sort out these disparities.
"You are seeing that right now with LNG terminals once designed to bring gas into U.S. markets being retrofitted to ship it overseas. International companies are moving manufacturing and petrochemical facilities back to the United States based on low-cost natural gas and power supplies," Maloney said. "As we've been preaching for the past year, fixing a few basic things like our courts and tax code will make us more competitive with our surrounding states. With these important changes, West Virginia is poised for growth."
Now is the time for the state to take the lead and make the nation energy independent by using natural gas as a transportation fuel, he said. The state also can install natural gas fueling stations that can be shared with the private sector, Maloney said.
In the United States today, more than 11.000 transit buses, 4.000 refuse trucks and 3.000 school buses are using natural gas, Maloney said. Tens of thousands of other medium and light duty vehicles are fueled by natural gas, he said.