With Peterbilt’s Denton TX factory as a backdrop, Texas Governor Rick Perry recently signed into state law three Texas bills promoting natural gas initiatives in the state. One of the bills would promote an aggressive expansion of natural gas fueling facilities in the section of the state called the Texas Triangle—Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.

For the signing ceremony, Gov Perry was accompanied by State Senator Jane Nelson, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Chairman Bryan Shaw, and State Representatives James Keffer and Tan Parker. The ceremony took place July 15 and included a tour of Peterbilt’s Denton plant.

Senate Bill 20 establishes a natural gas transportation corridor in the rapidly expanding Texas Triangle, which encompasses Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, by increasing the number of natural gas-refuelling stations, supporting the use of natural gas-powered trucks. Senate Bill 527 provides funds through the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan for 20 new air monitors in the 16-county Barnett Shale region. House Bill 3328 requires hydraulic fracturing operators to disclose the chemical constituents of fluids used in the fracturing process on a well-by-well basis.

“The 82nd Legislature passed several bills that will help Texas continue to lead the nation in energy production and expand our use of alternative sources of power in an area in which we’re already a national leader,” Gov Perry said during the press conference. “Senate Bill 20 will create a new “clean transportation triangle” helping add the infrastructure necessary to allow natural gas-fueled trucks, such as the ones produced here, to expand their range across our state. This [Peterbilt] factory stands as yet another example of what’s possible when innovative minds are given the freedom to explore, to try new approaches and meet challenges in unique and exciting ways.”

Peterbilt offers a full range of compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) power platforms. Equipped with the Cummins Westport ISL-G engine, Models 384, 365 and 320 can be spec’d with CNG or LNG offering 320 horsepower and 1,000 ft-lbs of torque, making it an excellent choice for short-haul, regional, refuse and dump trucks with GCW/GVW ratings up to 66,000 pounds. In addition, Peterbilt’s Models 386 LNG and 367 LNG are powered by the Westport GX engine and offer up to 475 horsepower and 1,750 ft-lbs of torque. The 15-liter Westport GX engine uses high pressure direct injection, proprietary fuel injectors, (HPDI) fuel system, specialized cryogenic fuel tanks, and associated electronic components to facilitate robust performance and reliable operation. This technology uses a low cost, cleaner-burning fuel than diesel with no compromises on engine torque, power, fuel economy, or drivability, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25%, according to Peterbilt officials.

“As the leading manufacturer of natural gas vehicles, Peterbilt is honored to have been asked by Gov Perry’s office to host the bill signing ceremony at our Denton manufacturing facility and are committed to supporting the natural gas development efforts,” says Bill Jackson, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice-president. “Peterbilt’s family of alternative fuel trucks forms the industry’s most comprehensive, high performing, fuel efficient, and environmentally responsible lineup, and these initiatives will promote the use of alternative fuel technologies and create a stronger sense of environmental stewardship through Texas and North America.”

For more information about Peterbilt’s alternative fuel lineup, visit www.peterbilt.com, and for more information on House Bill 3328, Senate Bill 20 or Senate Bill 527, visit Texas Legislature Online at http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/.