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CNG fuel of future

| Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is considering nine bills collectively known as the “Marcellus Works” package, which — if passed — will provide a foundation for a much cleaner, greener transportation system in our state and across the country. The bills support the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) to fuel vehicles using the state's homegrown natural resource.

Grant programs and tax incentives such as those proposed in the “Marcellus Works” package were a leading factor in Aqua Pennsylvania's decision to transition our larger vehicle fleet to CNG beginning in 2012. Today, Aqua has piloted five CNG vans, two dump trucks and two biofuel pickup trucks in service. We have invested $657,000 in CNG to date, including vehicles and infrastructure, and expect to have 90 CNG vehicles in operation within the next five years.

As a former Department of Environmental Protection secretary and Office of Economic Development director for the commonwealth, I strongly believe CNG is the fuel of the future because it's less expensive and better for the environment. I applaud the ongoing efforts of the DEP that have made drilling for natural gas a safe and environmentally sound alternative to petroleum-based fuels.

Nicholas DeBenedictis

Bryn Mawr

The writer is chairman and CEO of Aqua America Inc. (aquaamerica.com), which provides water and wastewater services to approximately 3 million people in 10 states.

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