Alternative fuel option keeps electricity and gasoline costs low
COLUMBIA - A study for the Missouri Energy Initiative showed the state is increasing its use of natural gas as an alternative fuel.
An increase in the supply of natural gas could mean lower electricity and gasoline bills for Missourians.
Columbia opened a compressed natural gas station in August and prices were at $1.99 Monday. That's about 50-60 cents cheaper than regular gasoline.
The state's Division of Energy said the increase in production results from more fracking, drilling and installation of pipelines.
It also said the alternative fuel could help keep the price of regular gas and electricity lower.
Lewis Mills, the director of the Division of Energy, said many homes and drivers benefit from natural gas.
"About 60 percent of Missouri households use natural gas to heat their homes," Mills said.
He also said Missouri's natural gas produced enough electricity to power about 58,000 homes and also helps with transportation.
"In Missouri, a natural gas transportation corridor is in development with an expanding refueling infrastructure extending from Kansas City, to Columbia, to St. Louis," Mills said.
Mills added that the onset of winter could potentially impact the availability of natural gas.
A compressed natural gas station on Lake Ridgeway Drive in Columbia allows city and public vehicles to fuel their cars with natural gas on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. A study for the Missouri Energy Initiative showed the state is increasing its use of natural gas as an alternative fuel. (KOMU/Allison Ladd)
Fueling instructions for users at a natural gas fueling station in Columbia, Missouri, are clearly listed to avoid any issues with the flammable gas on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. The state's Division of Energy said the alternative fuel could help keep the price of regular gas and electricity lower. (KOMU/Allison Ladd)
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