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NATURAL GAS VEHICLE COALITION ELECTS NEW CHAIRMAN; SOCALGAS PRESIDENT BEGINS TWO-YEAR TERM IN JANUARY

 LOS ANGELES, July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors of the Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) Coalition at its annual meeting this week in New York elected Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) President Warren I. Mitchell, 56, to a two-year term as chairman. Mitchell, whose term begins in January, will succeed current NGV Chair T. Boone Pickens, chairman and chief executive officer of Mesa Inc.
 The NGV Coalition is a consortium of more than 250 natural gas utilities, producers, pipeline companies and natural gas vehicle equipment suppliers committed to the development of a viable long-term market for natural gas vehicles. The coalition promotes the development of an NGV infrastructure, including the manufacture of NGVs, installation of natural gas fuel stations and development of standards, training and other related services.
 The Los Angeles-based SoCalGas is the nation's largest natural gas distributor with more than 15 million customers served through 4.7 million meters. The company has committed $32 million to develop natural gas vehicle refueling systems and to speed the manufacture of natural gas vehicles by the "Big Three" U.S. automakers. The company plans to spend another $50 million over the next three years to continue this effort.
 SoCalGas opened more than 30 public natural gas vehicle refueling stations in Southern California this past year and plans to open another 120 facilities in the region by 1996. Over the past three years, SoCalGas has co-funded the development and introduction of passenger cars, commuter vans and pickup trucks produced by Ford, Chrysler and GMC, respectively, that are designed to run exclusively on natural gas. SoCalGas has also facilitated the purchase and use by its customers of nearly 1,000 natural gas vehicles for private, fleet and mass transit purposes.
 "The natural gas vehicle industry holds the promise of cleaner air, the creation of new jobs, a boost to the economy and increased use of a domestically produced energy source," Mitchell said.
 "In my new role as chairman of the NGV Coalition, I look forward to working with the organization to meet its goal of having natural gas vehicles account for 10 percent of total vehicle registrations in the country by the turn of the century," Mitchell said.
 Jeffrey Seisler, executive director of the NGV Coalition, in welcoming Mitchell to his new post, said: "We are delighted that Warren Mitchell will be leading the NGV Coalition into a very exciting period for the natural gas vehicle industry.
 "Southern California Gas Co. is a recognized leader in the development of a natural gas vehicle industry and has undertaken very aggressive activity to commercialize natural gas vehicles. Warren Mitchell's leadership will provide the coalition and the industry great national visibility," Seisler said.
 Mitchell, who joined SoCalGas in 1958 as a crew assistant, was appointed president in August 1990. Nearly one-third of his 35-year career has been devoted to sales and marketing functions. As he progressed through the organization in positions of increasing responsibility, Mitchell earned a bachelor of science degree in administrative science and a master's of business administration, both from Pepperdine University.
 Mitchell is a member of the American Gas Association and is on the board of directors of the Pacific Coast Gas Association, Gas Research Institute, Institute of Gas Technology, Merchants and Manufacturing Association, Los Angeles Urban League and Rebuild L.A.
 -0- 7/2/93
 /CONTACT: Denise King of SoCalGas, 213-244-3030/


CO: Southern California Gas Co.; Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition ST: California IN: UTI SU: PER

MF-JB -- LA016 -- 8239 07/02/93 15:24 EDT
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Date:Jul 2, 1993
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