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GAS: Transitioning to CNG would ease fuel costs

Letter by Paul R. Stone, Federal Way on March 7, 2011 at 10:45 am with 4 Comments »
March 7, 2011 1:15 pm

I work with a gentleman with family in Peru. In Peru it costs $300 to convert a car so it will run on both gasoline and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). It costs $6,000 to do the same thing here.

Our government has effectively halted all new drilling for oil here in the U.S., forcing us to purchase ever more oil from people who want to kill us. The fact that we are forced to use a single type of fuel has effectively prevented any real competition and artificially drives demand up.

The U.S. has ample supplies of natural gas (200-plus years’ worth). Requiring Detroit to at least reserve a place for a CNG tank and a CNG carburetor on each car is a no-brainer. It would give us an alternative and introduce real competition in the market.

We should also find out why it costs so much to make the conversion here in the U.S. when it costs so little in other countries.

I contacted Congressman Adam Smith about this last year, but I guess he was too busy attempting to violate the constitution with Obamacare to be bothered with actually solving problems.

Now that the government owns both GM and Chrysler (not to mention that gasoline is now over $3.50 a gallon), perhaps this would be a good time to actually do something about it.

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. JudasEscargot says:

    Well, Paul…..you had my attention, but when you used the words “Obamacare” I knew that you have no intention of really wanting to convert to natural gas. It would hit your friends in the oil industry right square in the pocketbook, even though they are the source of natural gas also.

    The shares the US government took in lieu of loans to the auto makers didn’t give them management control. You must have forgotten about all the howling over “socialism” and so forth.

    If you’ll check, I’m betting Peru’s government owns the company. Well….looky here…..

    “Petróleos del Perú S.A. (Petroperú) is a Peruvian state-owned petroleum company. Its activities include transport, refinery and commercialization of fuel and other oil derivatives. It was created on July 24, 1969, during the presidency of Juan Velasco Alvarado, using properties expropriated by Peru from local oil companies and the International Petroleum Company, a subsidiary of Esso Corporation. Those properties included the world’s oldest giant oilfield, La Brea y Pariñas, first discovered in 1869 and eventually acquired by Esso. The original title to the property was granted by Simón Bolívar himself”

  2. Paul – here is some info for you trying to drill our way out of oil dependence. We could drill in every possible on land and on the continental shelf and it would not make a bit a difference to our oil dependence. Here is why:
    1. It would take up to a decade or more to produce any oil from any new oil fields.
    2. While we are waiting for the new production the existing fields would decline in daily production by more than any new production. The net gain would at best be zero, most likely negative.

  3. harleyrider1 says:

    Thank you Paul for your letter. Understanding frustrations and your point that we need to move to CNG, it does remain interesting that we changed focus with respect to this fuel source. It was hyped quite a bit back in the 80’s.

    Not only is it abundant within the USA, but in friendly countries such as Canada as well.

    We do see tow trucks, some company fleets, a couple buses, but very few cars that made the conversion. You are correct. It is all about leadership. Either a Governor or President needs to use their pulpit and lead with a single alternative fuel source or the media is no longer interested in its story.

    Exxon oil spent $41-billion dollars last year according to Money Magazine’s March 29th issue, in the natural gas industry. Although there is no government support, oil companies do believe that natural gas will play a role in the future in 20-years. it could not, but America has shown little political interest.

    Our last refinery was built in Garyville, LA in 1976. Future ones were cancelled due to environmental protesters and government red-tape. It doesn’t take 10-years to physically construct one. In 2008 and again in 2009, the Saudi’s stated publicly they would pay to build one here in America as the problem was not with supply – it was that we could not handle the volume if they did increase supply. (Granted we know it is not infinite).

  4. MarksonofDarwin says:

    Natural gas might be a good idea, but it’s not a politically popular one. Green house gas, fossil fuels, etc….you get the picture.

    Going forward, the emphasis will be on electric cars because electricity is generated through *magic*.

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