U.S. Postal Service delivers Go Green stamp campaign with natural gas fuel

The U.S. Postal Service is delivering more than mail in Corpus Christi.

It's also helping delivering a greener environment.

Along with its USA Go Green 2011 Social Awareness Stamps released Thursday, the local postmaster recognized the City of Corpus Christi Gas Department for its partnership to provide compressed natural gas fuel for 50 mail delivery vehicles.

"Our goal is to have half our fleet of 200 delivery trucks using natural gas by summer," said Postmaster Cathy Polderman. "The long-term goal is having all of them running on natural gas."

The city helped install compressed natural gas fueling stations at two Corpus Christi post offices — the Portairs and Flour Bluff stations. Southside Station will have 20 more vehicles using natural gas next week, Polderman said.

"With the fuel switch, and Go Green stamps, it's a double dip on clean," said Debbie Marroquin, director of the gas department. Climbing gasoline prices make this the right time for companies to use the local natural gas resource, she said.

Mayor Joe Adame said it was a "natural partnership" and prospective businesses look for these relationships when seeking a new location, he said.

The current 50 alternative fuel powered mail trucks produce 25 percent less carbon dioxide than regular gasoline engines and reduce carbon monoxide emissions by about 95 percent.

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi's Pollution Prevention Partnership tested emissions from both fuels on an idling mail vehicle Thursday. The hydrocarbons, known commonly as greenhouse gases, emitted from the exhaust with gasoline measured 153 parts per million. After switching the fuel to compressed natural gas, it measured 50 parts per million.

Postal service officials said natural gas costs half of what they spend on gasoline. Nationwide, the postal service has about 216,000 vehicles traveling about 1.2 billion miles annually.

"Every penny increase in gasoline costs the postal service $540,000 monthly," Polderman said. "So we plan to deliver without it."



This article was first published by Corpus Christi Caller Times.

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