Christy Skelton has always been passionate about the environment.
“I’ve always had a lot of ideas that I would have liked to investigate to help the environment, but I’ve rarely been able to pursue them before starting with Keyera,” Christy shares.
Working as a Field Engineer in the natural gas industry at Keyera Energy, Christy was presented with the perfect opportunity to pursue one of her ideas. After meeting the company’s VP of Engineering, Christy was given the thumbs up to investigate a new Keyera project – natural gas vehicles.
Christy was overjoyed. “I was very excited by the opportunity develop an alternative use for natural gas,” she remembers. Her first hurdle was to convince the company’s business development team, senior executives and local management that it was a good idea to convert the company fleet to run on natural gas rather than gasoline.
Currently in North America, road vehicles are the single greatest contributor to the greenhouse effect and climate change. Natural gas is a cleaner burning fuel that reduces emissions of harmful gases like carbon dioxide by 25%.
“It’s cheaper than gasoline too – a win-win for the environment and consumers!” says Christy. “Every year since 2008, vehicle manufacturers have been required to reduce CO2 emissions and that will continue at least until 2016. An average vehicle designed during this time would exceed 2016 targets by switching to natural gas.”
Christy’s ideas and efforts have materialized in a significant way. In May 2014, Keyera launched a pilot fleet of natural gas vehicles at their Drayton Valley location.
“It makes me feel excited, validated and proud,” reflects Christy. “It’s convinced me that environmentally conscientious people and companies can make a real difference in their carbon footprint.”
Christy’s initiative has also increased her profile among Keyera’s high-ranking executives. But what she is most proud of is her creation of a network among other companies that have started similar projects or would like to.
“This initiative has the potential to become Alberta-wide,” says Christy. “It could be the start of a network of natural gas filling stations available to fleets of industry vehicles, as well as to the general public.”
Christy Skelton is a Field Engineer with Keyera Energy, based in Drayton Valley, Alberta. She is both a mentor and an Ambassador for the Cybermentor program, where she inspires many young female students to pursue their passion in the fields of science and engineering.
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