April 5, 2011

Natural Gas Vehicles Accelerates

Move to natural gas vehicles accelerates

Movement toward natural gas-fueled vehicles finally appears to be firing on all cylinders.

The surge in U.S. natural gas production from prolific shale formations has created an abundance of the blue-burning fuel.

Middle East turmoil and a recovering global economy are putting energy security and high gasoline prices front-and-center in consumer minds.

Legislative efforts to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions are mired in partisan bickering.

And President Barack Obama provided a timely rallying point in a speech this week, giving a positive nod to government incentives for natural gas vehicles as alternatives to ones powered by higher-emission, oil-based fuels.

Next week a bipartisan group in Congress plans to introduce the “New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions” (NAT GAS) Act, which will offer tax credits to promote production and purchase of natural gas vehicles.

Texas lawmakers have proposed a bill to encourage the build-out of compressed natural gas stations along the “Texas Triangle” linking Houston, San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth. It would be funded through the existing Texas Emissions Reduction Plan, which draws from fees tacked on some vehicle titles, commercial vehicle inspections and other sources.

The City of Houston and oil and gas producer Apache Corp. today will announce a smaller effort closer to home — a $1.5 million compressed natural gas station at Bush Intercontinental Airport. It will fuel a fleet of gas shuttle buses to run between the city’s economy parking lot and the terminals.

25% lower CO2

The deal encapsulates many of the benefits of compressed natural gas vehicles that proponents have been touting – lower emissions from the fleet of 30 buses that cover a combined 900,000 miles per year, as well as lower fuel and maintenance costs.

Read the full story at Chron Energy

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