OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Justin Steckman got an up-close view of some of the world's energy issues during two deployments with the Oklahoma National Guard.
The thing that struck him most is the use of natural gas in the Middle East as a transportation fuel, while those countries export oil to the United States.
Steckman said that is the reason he decided to get into the compressed natural gas business.
He hopes to ensure his 17-month-old son and other American children don't grow up to be so reliant on imported oil.
"We want something different for them 20 years from now," Steckman told The Oklahoman (http://is.gd/pnuNyi).
He said it makes sense to take advantage of an abundant American resource like natural gas.
"We have this fuel source right underneath our feet," Steckman said.
Steckman said he spent a lot of time researching the natural gas market before moving into the conversion business.
He teamed with Greg Worlund, a longtime friend who also owns a Norman body shop, and Ted Dumas, a former municipal employee who helped set up Norman's CNG program.
The partners opened Total Fleet Solutions LLC in Norman earlier this year.
Steckman, who works for the National Guard as a budget analyst, said the fledgling company is dedicated to customer service, so a planned open house will include representatives of several local dealerships that sell CNG vehicles and representatives from Communications Federal Credit Union.