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Love's Travel Stops and OKC Utilities Department honored

October 17, 2013

Love’s Travel Stops and Oklahoma City Utilities receive alternative fuels leadership awards

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, one of Oklahoma’s best loved examples of the quintessential American success story, along with Oklahoma City’s Utilities Department are recipients of the 2013 Zach D. Taylor, Jr. Clean Cities Vision Awards for Regional Alternative Transportation Fuels Leadership. The awards were announced at the 12th Annual Central Oklahoma Clean Cities Awards Luncheon held October 17th at the downtown Oklahoma City Petroleum Club. 

The awards honor outstanding efforts to reduce dependence on imported petroleum, improve air quality, strengthen the local economy, and enhance public awareness of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies.

Dr. Bob Blackburn, executive director at the Oklahoma Historical Society presented the keynote address discussing Oklahoma’s energy rich history and the men, women, and oil and gas plays that helped define the shape of Oklahoma City and the silhouette of its skyline. John G. Johnson, executive director at the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments, and Yvonne Anderson, director of alternative fuel programs and Central Oklahoma Clean Cities coordinator at ACOG, emceed the awards event.

OKC Water Utilities accepts Clean Cities awardThe Oklahoma City Utilities Department Line Maintenance, Waste Management, Administration and Engineering Divisions were honored for their farsighted fleet management practices that began incorporating alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles in the 1990s. As early as 1996, the Utilities Department Line Maintenance Division was operating 48 compressed natural gas pickup trucks and refueling them at the city’s own CNG refueling site.

Since 2009, Line Maintenance has purchased 17 hybrid-electric vehicles and 16 new CNG pickups while the Solid Waste Management Division has added 23 heavy duty dedicated CNG refuse haulers to its fleet and currently has an additional 13 on order. By 2018, Solid Waste Management plans to have 60 dedicated CNG refuse haulers including 49 daily front line units and 11 additional units in backup. These vehicles will comprise approximately 46 percent of the Oklahoma City Utility Department Solid Waste Management Division heavy duty fleet.

However, the crown jewel of this ambitious alternative fuel project will be the opening of a new public- and private-access CNG refueling station later this year. The new CNG fueling operations will be located at the Oklahoma City Utility Department Solid Waste Management Administrative facilities just north of the intersection of Hefner Road and Portland Avenue. The private-access portion of the project includes 60 time-fill docks and two fast-fill dispensers behind the gate. The public-access portion will have two fast-fill dispensers outside the gate. Funding for this undertaking is provided by the Oklahoma City Environmental Assistance Trust and The City of Oklahoma City. 

Accepting the 2013 Zach D. Taylor, Jr. Clean Cities Vision Award for Public Sector Alternative Transportation Fuels Leadership were Marsha Slaughter, director, Oklahoma City Utilities Department; Bret Weingart, Utilities Department deputy director; James Linn, Solid Waste Management superintendent; Kenneth Mitchell, Solid Waste Management fleet services coordinator; Allen McDonald, Line Maintenance superintendent; and Jeff Twiehaus, Line Maintenance Fleet Services Unit operations supervisor.


Love's receives Clean Cities award

The 2013 Zach D. Taylor, Jr. Clean Cities Vision Award for Private Sector Alternative Fuel Leadership was presented to another Central Oklahoma Clean Cities’ charter member – a company that has been at the forefront of alternative fuel retail sales for the past 20 years.

Love’s Travel Stops and County Stores installed the company’s first public-access natural gas vehicle refueling dispensers in El Reno, Oklahoma, in 1993 – the same year the U.S. Department of Energy established the Clean Cities program. That station was quickly followed by Love’s CNG refueling sites in Oklahoma City, Edmond, and Woodward.

In 2005, Love’s began selling a 5 percent biodiesel blend at stores in Ina, Illinois and in Midlothian, Texas. As one of the nation’s first multi-state, multi-store, alternative fuel retailers, this venture again exemplified Love’s leadership and determination to provide American fuel for America’s vehicles. By 2013, the company was selling biodiesel blends from 2 percent to 20 percent at 197 stores across the country. In Oklahoma, 20 of Love’s 63 Travel Stops and Country Stores currently sell B19 blend biodiesel and six (6) of those sites also sell CNG.

Between 2011 and the first quarter of 2013, Love’s installed and opened 12 public-access CNG refueling sites in Oklahoma. In October 2012, the company opened a fast-fill CNG facility for heavy duty, Class 8 trucks at its I-40 and Morgan Road Travel Stop location in Oklahoma City. It is thought to be the first such public facility in the country located alongside diesel pumps.

In addition to its fast-fill CNG facility for trucks, earlier this year Love’s Gemini Motor Transport fleet purchased 50 CNG-powered Freightliner Cascadia tractor-trailer trucks. The vehicles will be used to deliver petroleum fuels and biodiesel to its stores across the country. Gemini began testing one of the vehicles in September 2012 and will take delivery of the 50-vehicle fleet order beginning in the 4th quarter of this year.

Love’s Travel Stops was founded in 1964 by Tom Love with a lease on an abandoned service station in Watonga, Okla. Today, Love’s, headquartered in Oklahoma City, remains entirely family-owned and operated. Loves Travel Stops and Country Stores operates more than 300 locations and 175 truck tire care centers in 39 states. The company is currently ranked No. 9 on Forbes Magazine’s annual listing of America’s Largest Private Companies.

Accepting the 2013 Zach D. Taylor, Jr. Clean Cities Vision Award for Private Sector Alternative Fuel Leadership on behalf of Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores were Carl Martincich, vice president, Human Resources, Risk Management And Government Affairs; Tom Kirby, corporate manager, Career Development; and Kevin McCarthy, alternative fuels project manager and site developer.

Central Oklahoma Clean Cities became the nation’s 48th designated U.S. Dept. of Energy Clean Cities Coalition in 1996. Since that time, with program support from the State Energy Office at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, ACOG members, and Central Oklahoma Clean Cities stakeholders, the coalition has displaced more than 30 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel with alternative fuels such as natural gas, propane, electricity, and E85 and B20 biofuels.

Last year, Central Oklahoma Clean Cities stakeholders displaced more than 3 million gasoline gallon equivalents of petroleum fuel in their fleets helping to ensure the nation’s energy security, strengthening the local economy, and improving regional air quality.

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