Around the web, stories about natural gas vehicles are bursting out all over (maybe prompted by this promotional effort which aims to increase the number of CNG vehicles).
- Newsweek offers a reporter’s trip test-driving a CNG car (a Honda GX) with her children, traveling from L.A. to San Diego and up to Oakland. A few videos accompany the story, providing more insight into traveling on CNG in California. In sum, “natural gas travel is possible, it is not exactly easy, … and you can’t beat the price.”
The reporter said she paid prices ranging from $2.27 to $2.99 for gas equivalent to a gallon of gasoline, while she saw gasoline prices from $3.95 to $4.56 per gallon.
- From the Salt Lake Tribune, a story which emphasizes the state subsidies, environmental benefits, and the potential safety hazards of improperly done conversions:
The number of natural-gas tanks powering Utah vehicles has exploded this year.
Now state officials and clean-car advocates want to ensure the tanks don’t blow up, too, and that they pollute as little as intended.
- The story in the Washington Post focuses on some “big picture” numbers (“Of 176,000 gas stations in the United States, fewer than 2,000 carry natural gas…”) and a few political angles:
Many advocates, especially politicians, are attracted to natural gas because it is mostly a local resource. The United States gets 98 percent of its supply from domestic sources. And many think that recently discovered deposits of shale in Louisiana, Texas and under the Appalachian Mountains could keep the country self-sufficient for decades.
“As recently as three years ago people thought we had a natural gas shortage in this country and that we were perilously close to being in a situation where we were going to have to import,” Emanuel said, adding that he decided to introduce his legislation after learning of the shale deposits. “Now we’re trying to figure out what to do with all this.”
- A few days after the Trib story, the New York Times publishes it’s own report from Salt Lake City, focusing on the booming demand for natural gas vehicles in Utah. And by the way, the natural gas is primarily supplied by the state’s regulated retail natural gas supplier at regulated rates, reportedly the equivalent of 87 cents a gallon. The Times say that, “Demand is so strong at rush hour that fuel runs low, and some days people can pump only half a tank.” Also of note:
Questar [the public utility] estimates the number at 6,000 and growing by several hundred a month. That is small compared with the 2.7 million vehicles registered in the state, but natural gas executives and state government officials say it makes Utah the fastest-growing market in the country for such cars.