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COLUMBIA NATURAL GAS-POWERED BUS USED IN CLINTON/GORE INAUGURATION

 WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- To symbolize their contribution to cleaner air, a variety of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) including the Columbia, the nation's first mass transit bus designed to operate exclusively on natural gas, will be taking part in the inaugural events for President-elect Bill Clinton and Vice President-elect Al Gore.
 "We're extremely pleased to be assisting the Presidential Inaugural Committee in these efforts," said C. Ronald Tilley, chairman and chief executive officer of the Columbia Gas Distribution Companies, which includes Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania. "The president-elect frequently has endorsed the increased use of natural gas as one of the cornerstones of his energy policy. Showcasing it in this way clearly demonstrates that he is committed to improving the environment and reducing U.S. dependence on imported oil, which will also create jobs and strengthen our economy.
 "Natural gas vehicles such as the Columbia demonstrate an extraordinary opportunity to improve air quality. Of all the alternative fuels now available, natural gas is the cleanest-burning, most abundant and most economical," Tilley said.
 The Columbia will be part of a fleet of six urban mass transit buses transporting relatives of the Gore family and their guests. Each bus will display the slogan: "On the Road to a Cleaner Tomorrow, Clinton/Gore & Natural Gas."
 The natural gas buses will take the Gore relatives and guests on a pre-parade convoy to their seating area for the swearing-in ceremonies near the White House, and will also transport them to another viewing stand for the inaugural parade. The inaugural committee has also been shuttling some of its staff with three natural gas vans loaned by Columbia, the American Gas Association and Baltimore Gas and Electric Company.
 Other buses used in the event are on loan from The Brooklyn Union Gas Co., Brooklyn, N.Y.; Equitable Gas Co., Pittsburgh; and The East Ohio Gas Co., Cleveland, a subsidiary of Consolidated Natural Gas, Pittsburgh.
 The Columbia, introduced in 1989 in Columbus, Ohio, was designed and developed by researchers at Columbia Gas in collaboration with the manufacturer, Fixible Corp., Delaware, Ohio, and other parts manufacturers. It has logged more than 40,000 miles of passenger service as part of the Central Ohio Transit Authority fleet. As a result of the Columbia's success, an estimated 250 natural gas-powered transit buses are now in service across the country.
 "Natural gas vehicles are safe, reliable, clean and economical," Tilley said. "They have benefits for everyone, not just commercial or government fleets. That's why the major automakers are expanding their production of NGVs, and more refueling stations are opening every day."
 Columbia Gas opened the nation's largest public-access NGV fueling station in Columbus on Oct. 13, 1992. The station is capable of fueling 12 vehicles simultaneously, and can handle 650 vehicles a day.
 The largest NGV fleets in the country include the U.S. Postal Service, United Parcel Service and the federal government's General Services Administration. Columbia Gas operates one of the largest utility-owned fleets, some 400 cars, trucks and vans that are fueled with natural gas.
 Columbus Gas Distribution Companies serve 1.8 million customers in Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
 -0- 1/18/93
 /CONTACT: Karen Miller, 614-460-4607, Roger Morris, 614-460-4627, or Jim Vitak, 614-460-4601, all of Columbia Gas Distribution Companies/


CO: Columbia Gas Distribution Companies ST: Pennsylvania, District of Columbia IN: OIL SU:

MK-CC -- PG006 -- 5848 01/18/93 11:11 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 18, 1993
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