Weaning ourselves off of imported oil has been the promise every U.S. President as far back I can remember.
Nonetheless, our addiction to oil has only gotten worse with every successive administration. Big surprise there huh?
In fact, to date we now spend about $600 billion every year now on oil imports. That’s a losers game as the price of oil continues to skyrocket, enriching far more of our enemies than our friends.
But while we continue to look at other alternatives to fuel our cars and chase the foolishness of corn-based ethanol, a much simpler solution might be staring us right in the face.
The best part is it can be had for about 90 cents an equivalent gallon.
That’s no typo. Ninety cents a gallon is about what it would cost today to fuel up your car with natural gas.
That is part of the solution to oil crisis being put forward by T. Boone Pickens these days.
“Natural gas is a cleaner fuel source and North America has an abundance of supply to tap into,” says Pickens. “Just look at what’s occurring with shale development throughout the country. It’s real and it’s happening everywhere – from Northeast British Columbia to the Barnett Shale in Texas; from the Appalachian Basin to the Fayetteville Shale in Alabama. In today’s business and economic environment, natural gas is much more exciting and promising than oil. It is the premium fossil fuel.”
And with gasoline prices now headed above $4.00 a gallon for the foreseeable future, Boone’s vision of natural gas powered transportation system maybe beginning to gain some traction.
Here’s the skinny.
From CNN Money entitled: Experts: Natural gas vehicles getting attention
“As gasoline prices soar, vehicles powered by natural gas are capturing more attention, especially among those operating heavy vehicles, experts at an alternative fuels forum said Thursday.
Compressed natural gas, or CNG, has an average-per-gallon equivalent price of 90.9 cents a gallon in Oklahoma, said Richard Kolodziej, president of Washington, D.C.-based Natural Gas Vehicles for America. Comparatively, gasoline prices are nearing $4 a gallon in the state.
Kolodziej said the growing gap between the cost of oil and natural gas and public policy shifts toward alternative fuels bode well for the natural gas vehicle industry, as does the large supply of natural gas. He said 97 percent of the natural gas used in the U.S. is produced in North America.
“Natural gas vehicles help achieve three major public policy goals simultaneously,” Kolodziej said. “They produce less greenhouse gases, reduce air pollution and displace the use of foreign oil, and CNG is far cheaper than gasoline or diesel fuel.”
Tom Price, the senior vice president of corporate development at Chesapeake Energy which hosted the conference said rising gasoline prices especially affect organizations that use heavy vehicles.
“Fleet managers are struggling to keep their fleets operating at peak efficiency and rising fuel prices are impacting the cost of virtually every consumer product,” Price said.
Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy is the third-largest overall producer of natural gas in the U.S.
While nations like Argentina, Pakistan and Brazil all have more than 1.4 million natural gas vehicles on the road, it’s been more difficult to increase the U.S. usage numbers because, until recently, oil prices in the U.S. were relatively inexpensive, said David Gelman, the vice president of Landover, Md.-based New West Technologies, who has been involved in the alternative fuel industry since 1985.”
Those are numbers that will be easier to add to as the price of oil goes even higher.
After all, 90 cents a gallon sounds pretty good to me. Heck, even double that would be a bargain.
By the way, here is how you would fill up your natural gas powered car (Honda makes one for 24K) if you had one.