TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — South Florida will soon be a bit more energy friendly as plans to open a natural gas vehicle fueling station move forward.
Tuesday, a Florida-based firm opened a natural gas vehicle fueling station in Tallahassee and has plans for 15 more across the state and three in Georgia.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, the state's top energy official, was on hand for Tuesday's opening of Netpetro's Tallahassee station.
The Leon County School District is partnering with the firm. The district has 44 natural gas powered school buses and plans to convert its entire 206-bus fleet to the cleaner and lower cost fuel.
Other government agencies and private vehicles also can use the station.
Netpetro plans stations for Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Key Largo, West Palm Beach, Daytona Beach, Fort Myers, Fort Pierce, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Ocala, Orlando, Pensacola, Sarasota, St. Augustine, and Tampa.
In Georgia, it is planning stations for Atlanta, Macon and Savannah.
Natural gas is plentiful, transportable and is the lowest carbon fossil fuel. At a time when gasoline alternatives usually focus on electrics, hybrids, or ethanol, natural gas is an environmentally friendly alternative because it emits 22-percent less carbon dioxide than oil and 40-percent less than coal. Gas also is the most energy efficient fossil fuel.
Compared with gasoline, it has much cleaner emissions while providing similar fuel economy, performance, and drivability. Its relative energy cost can be about half that of gasoline, and it's mostly a domestically produced energy source, thus contributing to reducing the reliance on foreign oil.
Currently, there are only two natural gas vehicle fueling stations in South Florida. Both are at Wise gas stations in Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach.
To find gas alternative stations in your area, check the U.S. Department of Energy Web site.
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