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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.




COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS

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COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS. An alternative to diesel and gasoline in some vehicles, compress natural gas (CNG) was introduced to Dubuque by Black Hills Energy on May 18, 2011 at the company's office on Cedar Cross Road. The marketing manager for the company reported that his automobile got the same mileage per gallon as when it ran on gasoline. Compressed natural gas, however, cost 88 cents per gallon. (1)

The first public pumping station for the new fuel was at 1215 E. 16th street. (2)

In January, 2014 the city's Environmental Stewardship Advisory Commission held two public input sessions for the public to learn about the potential risks and rewards of fracking to reach oil and gas. The city budgeted $1.85 million for fueling city vehicles in 2014. It was anticipated that $62,000 per vehicle could be saved over eight years if CNG vehicles were used in place of gasoline. (3)

Public Works Director Don Vogt announced to the city council in February, 2014 that the city garage was not equipped to store two CNG-powered vehicles and that fuel savings were unlikely to be as great as initially thought. By purchasing two standard-fuel vehicles, the city would save just less than $100,000. (4)

In 2017 the city council voted 7-0 to approve a $2.2 million grant application to the Federal Transit Administration. This would help pay for a proposed $7.5 million project to convert methane captured at the Dubuque landfill into CNG to fuel twelve JULE (THE) transit buses. According to city staff, methane had been captured and burned off since 2011. Adding a CNG-fuel station would help the city reduce greenhouse emissions and remove an estimated 61,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the air annually. (5)


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Source:

1. Piper, Andy, "A Fuel for the Future? Naturally," Telegraph Herald, May 19, 2011, p. 1

2. Hogstrom, Erik. "City's 1st Compressed Natural Gas Station Will Open," Telegraph Herald, Nov. 14, 2013, p. 1

3. Jacobson, Ben, "Officials Seek Dubuquers' Input on Compressed Natural Gas," Telegraph Herald, January 22, 2014, p. 5

4. Jacobson, Ben, "City Stalls Purchase of 2 CNG-Fueled Vehicles," Telegraph Herald, February 20, 2014, p. 3

5. "CNG-Fueled Bus Fleet," Telegraph Herald, July 6, 2017, p. 3