CNG filling stations to open in Rifle, Grand Junction | PostIndependent.com

CNG filling stations to open in Rifle, Grand Junction

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

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Two separate events are scheduled for Saturday to mark the opening of a pair of compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations, one in Rifle and the other in Grand Junction.

The natural gas industry, along with supporters in government and other businesses, have long maintained that using CNG in cars and trucks will help wean the United States off its dependence on foreign oil.

On Colorado’s Western Slope, where the natural gas industry has been active for decades, the idea of CNG fueling stations has been a hot topic of debate all along, and there have been isolated CNG fueling sites before now.

But the Rifle and Grand Junction stations are being heralded as the first with broad commercial applications.

The Rifle event is set for 8:30 a.m. at Kirk Swallow’s Shell gas station, 101 Railroad Ave.

The public is welcome. Fresh coffee and doughnuts will be served courtesy of Garfield County, and there will be ribbon cutting conducted by the Rifle Chamber of Commerce.

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Ed Green, Garfield County manager, said there will be about 10 CNG vehicles on hand, some from the county fleet and some from the region’s gas drilling industry, to fill up on CNG.

Also attending, Green said, will be the Garfield County commissioners, a representative from the office of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, and others from industry and government.

Kirk Swallow, owner of the business, told the Post Independent it has been a long and arduous process to finally get the pump in business, marked by long delays in getting needed equipment delivered.

He said the compressor equipment and related gear has ended up costing approximately $900,000. The station was partially funded by a $675,000 grant from the Governor’s Energy Office.

After the vehicles have filled up at Swallow’s station, a caravan will head for Grand Junction, where a grand opening is taking place at a CNG pump on the city’s municipal services campus, 333 West. Ave., starting at 10 a.m.

Gov. John Hickenlooper is scheduled to attend the Grand Junction event, which also is open to the public. Later Saturday the governor is to deliver the keynote address at the Club 20 spring meeting at the Two Rivers Convention Center.