Join me Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. as Williamson County celebrates the opening of its new propane fueling station with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The station is located at the J.B. & Hallie Jester Williamson County Annex at 1781 E. Old Settlers Blvd., Round Rock, Texas. The ceremony will take place at the tank pumps located behind the EMS and Sheriff’s sub-station. Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter will be on hand during the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Williamson County pursued and received grants to fund the conversion of selected County vehicles and the construction of countywide propane fueling sites based on several benefits provided by the incorporation of propane. Williamson County currently has 24 propane-fueled vehicles in operation and will have approximately 31 when all the conversions are completed. Fueling stations are located in Georgetown, Cedar Park, Florence, Taylor, Granger, as well as the Round Rock location.
Making the switch to propane will reduce the environmental impact of propane emissions; cost savings of propane fuel compared to the average cost per gallon of gasoline, and reduced number of oil changes required. In addition, propane is 97 percent domestically produced, with one third of the propane supply being produced here in Texas.
Propane vehicles have the longest driving range of any alternative fuel – more than 250 percent farther than compressed natural gas, about 60 percent farther than methanol, and 25 percent farther than ethanol. Testimonials from drivers of propane-powered vehicles say that there are no significant driving differences between dedicated propane vehicles and gasoline-powered ones, and many propane vehicle fleets have reported two to three years longer service life and extended intervals between required maintenances compared to gasoline vehicles.
A recent study by the Southwest Research Institute and the World Liquid Propane Gas Association claimed, propane exhaust creates 60 to 70 percent less smog-producing hydrocarbons than gasoline. Compared to gasoline, propane yields 12 percent less carbon dioxide, about 20 percent less nitrous oxide, and as much as 60 percent less carbon monoxide. Propane cuts emissions of toxins and carcinogens like benzene and toluene by up to 96 percent compared to gasoline.
This year we have all experienced a volatile gasoline price and for the past 12 months the average price of gasoline in Williamson County was $3.15 per gallon and the average price of propane for the same time period was $1.82. In addition, the County will be eligible for a $0.50 cent per gallon Federal tax credit upon completion of all fueling stations, making the cost of propane $1.36 per gallon. Williamson County Fleet Services anticipates a projected yearly fuel savings of $61,000.
I look forward to seeing you on January 5, 2012 in Williamson County. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me directly for further details!