As we become more efficient at providing our services with a domestic fuel source ... the country as a whole wins.
Johnnie Perkins, Western region director of municipal services
The United States has abundant domestic supply of natural gas. As a transportation fuel, it typically costs $1.50 to $2.00 per gallon equivalent less than gasoline and diesel. Greater reliance on natural gas combats the risks of heavy reliance on petroleum fuels, which are sold on an increasingly unstable world market.
The 31,000 natural gas vehicles operating in California in 2008 displaced 115 million gallons of petroleum fuels. We believe NGVs can displace 1 billion to 2 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel by 2030.
Natural gas as a transportation fuel has several key advantages:
About 98 percent of the natural gas Americans use comes from North America. About 84 percent is produced domestically; more than 90 percent of imports come from Canada and Mexico. And the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts a sharp decline in imports as the domestic supply grows.
High-use NGV fleets pay substantially less for natural gas than they would for gasoline or diesel, and consumers who refill NGV tanks at home get residential fueling discounts from California utilities that put compressed natural gas costs far below gasoline. Natural gas prices are projected to increase much less than petroleum prices over the next 25 years, further widening the cost advantage.
North America has about a 120-year supply of natural gas at the current consumption level, based on data from a 2010 IHS CERA study. California’s increasing use of renewable fuels for energy generation will free up more than enough natural gas for the fuel’s highest anticipated use in transportation. And renewable natural gas could constitute a significant portion of NGV fuel in the coming years.
Photo credits: station courtesy Clean Energy Fuels;
truck, ©Westport Power Inc.