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State urged to convert 2,000 vehicles to natural gas

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A new report says Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin should quickly start switching at least one-fourth of West Virginia's vehicle fleet to natural gas.

A task force study commissioned by the governor recommends converting nearly 2,000 vehicles within four years.

Thursday's report says switching would cost between $8,000 for a sedan to $35,000 for a heavy-duty truck. But it also estimates recouping that investment and then saving up to $5,000 per vehicle within seven years. Those savings would come sooner if gas and diesel prices continue to rise.

The study identifies which counties should host natural gas fueling stations. A recommended tax credit worth up to $400,000 would encourage their construction.

Tomblin has already embraced another task force finding, by proposing legislation to revamp the alternative fuel tax credit.


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