Last updated: July 18. 2013 7:05PM - 139 Views
Ralph B. Davis
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PAINTSVILLE — Natural gas will not only heat your home, but will soon also power your car, if D.M. Stumbo has his way.

The Paintsville resident is convinced that vehicles powered by compressed natural gas will soon provide a money-saving solution to energy dependence, and he is bringing together a panel of experts later this month in an effort to jump-start the conversion in the Big Sandy Valley.

The seminar will be held at 10 a.m., Aug. 29, at the Ramada Inn, focusing on plans by automakers to offer natural gas-powered vehicles, converting existing cars to natural gas, and the need for natural gas fueling stations.

But tops on Stumbo’s agenda is the need for a technical school curriculum to train mechanics to work on natural gas-powered vehicles and convert gasoline-power cars to natural gas.

“The prime target, from my standpoint, is to get a school, because it’s coming,” Stumbo said.

Stumbo believes Big Sandy Community and Technical College would be the ideal setting for such a program, but it needs to happen soon. Once compressed natural gas vehicles are available, local auto dealers will need the expertise such a program could provide.

The seminar will feature speakers from the state Department for Energy Development and Independence, as well as education and industry officials. Stumbo said he has also invited superintendents from area school districts, natural gas companies, and businesses and agencies with large fleets of vehicles.

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