I have enjoyed your postings over the years and consider you one of, if not the most knowledgeable on this board.
The question that has me stymied is why NG hasn't taken off as the "bridge" fuel for our nation? Pickens has tried to promote it, clean air people love it, reports are it is abundant. It is in our National interest, our financial interest, and our personal interests to switch. Auto conversions are simple and low-cost. (I helped a friend in Wales convert his Rover 3500 to NG back in 1974)
Could the answer be the present petroleum (ICE)-based fossil fuel infrastructure? Foreign lobbys? Pure politics? All of these and more? NG makes so much sense and Solar and Wind so little sense I am confounded by the stagnation in the NG industry.
I would welcome your perspective, as well as those of others on this board.
(From Calif) By far the largest award - a combined total of more than $35.6 million - will go to the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), a council of 24 city governments and San Bernardino County which serves as the area's transportation planning agency. It is partnering with Ryder Truck Transport Services to purchase and deploy up to 262 heavy-duty natural gas trucks and to construct two liquefied natural gas (LNG) refueling stations. The Energy Commission, using funds from its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Transportation program, will provide $9,308,000 to pay the difference between the natural gas-powered trucks and the typical vehicle that would operate on petroleum. The US Department of Energy will also provide $9,308,000 in federal stimulus funding from the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. An additional match of $17,062,737 will be provided by the project's participants, who include, in addition to SANBAG and Ryder Trucks, the Southern California Clean Cities program, and Gladstein, Neandross & Associates, an environmental consulting firm.
Natural gas is the fuel of the future for the USA as we have well over a 100 year supply. One would think that the president and congress would recognize that this is a clean, low cost alternative to many of the things that oil and coal are used for; especially the generation of electricity. The coal lobby from the east (PA, OH, WV, KY, VA) and these states congressional members have been able to prevent natural gas from replacing coal at power plants (electricity). Why natural gas is not more widely used in vehicles (especially buses, trains and semi-tractor trailer trucks) is beyond my understanding as these types of vehicles can support the large pressurized tank that would be required. Cars and pickups may not be large enough as the canisters for natural gas can take up a third of a pickups bed and also are pressurized and may explode if they are in a wreck (safety could be an issue). Natural gas is much more explosive than gasoline or diesel fuel as it is much more volatile (light hydrocarbons) The answer undoubtedly lies with politics; the eastern coal producing states support coal while the gulf coast and western states would tend to support natural gas but do not have the equivalent political clout. Not likely to change in the immediate future. States where corn is the primary agricultural crop would tend to favor high prices for oil so that ethanol can increase in useage (very bad alternative in my opinion).