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Mourning the loss of a CNG pioneer

Jay F. Marks Published: May 8, 2013

CNG Interstate owner Craig Wright stands in front of several vehicles being converted to CNG at his business in Oklahoma City, OK, Thursday, March 15, 2012,  CNG Interstate specializes in converting vehicles to run on CNG. By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman
CNG Interstate owner Craig Wright stands in front of several vehicles being converted to CNG at his business in Oklahoma City, OK, Thursday, March 15, 2012, CNG Interstate specializes in converting vehicles to run on CNG. By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman

Craig Wright was one of the most ardent advocates for compressed natural gas I’ve ever met.

Wright, who died April 13 after a car accident, opened a branch of his CNG conversion business in Oklahoma in 2011 after noticing the demand for natural gas vehicles here.

CNG Interstate got its start in Utah, but quickly established a foothold in Edmond. Last year, Wright told me the business had grown by about 500 percent in less than a year.

We’ve talked a number of times since then, each time making it clear that Wright truly believed natural gas was a viable alternative to gasoline and diesel.

Nothing proves that more than our last visit, when Wright showed off a 23-foot ski boat he had modified to run on natural gas.

He had hoped to get the Malibu Wakesetter on the water shortly after our visit in late March, but he was confident it would meet expectations.

Wright also talked excitedly about his plans to use CNG in recreational vehicles to create a fuel-efficient rental fleet for adventure-seeking travelers.

It sounds like a workable plan, but someone else will have to make it work now.

I hope it happens.

I’d like to take a trip in CNG-fueled RV someday.

ALSO: Wright is survived by his wife and five children, with one more on the way. Friends are raising money to help support the family as it copes with its loss.