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LA CROSSE, Wis. – Kwik Trip Inc. has been instrumental in making CNG (compressed natural gas) available in Wisconsin, according to Wisconsin Clean Cities, an organization that encourages the use of alternative fuels and lauded the convenience store retailer this week.
"CNG has gained in Wisconsin largely because of companies like Kwik Trip," Lorrie Lisek, executive director of Wisconsin Clean Cities, told the La Crosse Tribune. "I know this is going to continue to build as infrastructure expands. Kwik Trip is putting the infrastructure out there."
As CSNews Online previously reported, Kwik Trip plans to have as many as 30 CNG stations by the end of this year. "We are very excited at what the opportunity will bring for Kwik Trip," Steve Zietlow, vice president and director of petroleum operations for Kwik Trip, exclusively told CSNews Online in October. "By creating an infrastructure, it is something that most markets haven't seen, and we really think this will be the catalyst or the driver to promote more activity with this."
CNG is seen as a viable alternative fuel because it is purported to be available locally, cleaner burning and cheaper than gasoline.
"It’s a huge benefit for the United States because 98 percent of the natural gas is from the U.S.," Joel Hirschboeck, Kwik Trip’s alternative fuels manager, told the Tribune. "All of the dollars spent on this are going to the U.S. economy instead of going around the world."
However, Hirschboeck acknowledged that Kwik Trip sold nearly 1 billion gallons of fuel in 2012, with natural gas only comprising 1 percent of those sales.
La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip operates 430 c-stores and gas stations.