Saturday, February 19, 2011

CNG: Saving $1.85 Per Gallon

Gasoline on February 18th averaged $3.15 per gallon and compressed natural gas for vehicles was available for $1.40 per gallon.  Yesterday, CNG saved $1.85 per gallon or $18.50 per 10 gallon fill up. 

So how many of you were using the cheaper, cleaner, domestic fuel?  Not me either.

We hear time and again that our addiction to oil stems from the "reality" that the black gold supposedly is a cheap high.  We are told not to worry so much that 70 per cent of the narcotic comes from overseas producers:  it is inexpensive, good stuff.  A few conservatives say all that Energy Independence nattering is impractical, would cost us more dollars to fuel America if pursued, and anyway leave it to the markets to decide whether we keep importing 70 per cent of our oil.

Oceans of new natural gas (as well as sharply falling prices for solar, wind and other renewable energy technologies) mean all the broadsides against Energy Independence are Bunk. Dangerous Bunk.

The USA has so much gas available now that we can be energy independent, and energy independence would be cheaper, cleaner, and safer. Uncle Sam can replace dirty, expensive, dangerous foreign oil and need not run 40 year old or older coal plants with few or no pollution controls that sicken and kill tens of thousands of Americans every year.

Yet we remain hooked to a fuel that costs us $1.85 more per gallon, emits much more heat trapping gas, and comes from places around the world where populations are rising up against autocratic, medieval governments.

There is a massive market failure when we pay $3.15 cents per gallon and don't use an alternative fuel priced at  $1.40. 

Gasoline is up 54 cents in the last year and up $1.20 cents over two years ago. There is a massive market failure when we don't switch in droves from gasoline even as gasoline prices go higher and natural gas prices go lower.

There is a massive market failure when only 120,000 vehicles in the USA run on compressed natural gas.

Our brains are so addled by the addiction that we struggle to break free of it, even though we could halve our fuel costs, cut our trade deficity by $350 billion per year, slash heat trapping gas emissions from transportation by at least 20%, and increase the safety of America, by just moving aggressively to natural gas and other alternative transportation fuels like elctricity and biodiesel.

Boldly moving to natural gas vehicles, electric cars, and biodiesel would create millions of jobs directly and indirectly and decrease pollution.  Pennsylvania is positioned to show the way, since Pennsylvania exports gas, exports electricity, and biodiesel.

More on this later.


  1. What about the greenhouse gas emissons from methane released into the atmosphere during the drilling and transportation ( much from compressors) phase of the NG lifecycle? Anything to be concerned about there?

  2. See, my comment on Carbon hope II. I could write all the same stuff here. Very interesting and informative

  3. RDA

    First, thank you for coming to the blog and for the work that you do to promote responsible drilling.

    Right now I am reviewing the best data and analysis on the life cycle issues and will posting on this topic within the week.