County Judge Bob Clinard wants to convert some of the county's fleet, and hosted a roundtable at Northwest Arkansas Community College to discuss the possibility.
"We have some really smart people that know their stuff, from engineers, to sales, to end users... telling us the stories of how they got CNG stations," he says. "(They're) sharing success stories and how they're going about saving millions of dollars in costs by powering vehicles with CNG."
Dianne Gliedt and her husband drive compressed natural gas vehicles, and they brought them to the event to show them off.
"I lose very very little power in my car," Gliedt says. "I get as much and maybe even a little more highway mileage."
The closest commercial filling stations are in Fort Smith and Oklahoma, so the Gliedts bought one of their own.
"It's an appliance that hooks up to your natural gas that's plumbed into your home," she says. "(It) sits outside my house in our driveway and I just hook up to it whenever I go home."
She says the gas is better for the environment than gasoline, and cheaper too.
"It's one of the cleanest fuels that you can burn," Gliedt says. "Gas is over $3.50 a gallon... I don't pay as much attention to it as i used to because I don't buy it anymore, but my fuel costs about 75 cents for that amount."
But there are start up costs. The filling station's go for about $3,000, and converting a car can take $10,000 or more.
Clinard believes the investment would pay off quickly.
"If you drive quite a bit of miles it's about a two year payback," he says. "The county spends a little over $1.1 million or so in gasoline and diesel. We could probably cut that by a third over a period of two or three years."
But first investors need to build filling stations, and Clinard says there is some interest.
"The county is not going to build a fuel facility," he says. "There's about three different companies that have approached us to possible do something here in Benton County."
Clinard says it takes about a year to get a station built and operable.
"If we get some in here by the end of next year, or this time next year, then maybe by 2014 we could have some conversions done and start spending less money for fuel."
Clinard says the move would benefit more than the county's pocketbook.
"I think it's the right thing to do for our country," he says. "Natural gas is here, it's plentiful in the United States... We would create jobs here by recovering that gas, so if we start to use more of it, there will be jobs created. It's a win win win situation, to convert to CNG."