By on September 2, 2008

Yes, it's true: a new series on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as THE FUEL OF THE FUTURE– inspired by T. Boon Pickens' nationally advertised plan to run the whole damn country's auto fleet on CNG. Moron that later. For now, The International Herald Tribune reports that Utah's CNG scene in heating up. And why not? State government mandates have kept a lid on the price of CNG to just above extraction costs, currently running about $0.75 –  $0.80/gallon. A cryo-reinforced tank fill-up in the Beehive State runs less than $10. A $3k state tax credit for purchase or new or used EPA-certified CNG vehicles has led to a run-up on prices of used Contours and Cavaliers not unlike that $7000 Geo Metro XFi. And that's on top of the $4k federal tax credit for new CNG vehicles, currently limited to the Honda Civic GX, if you can get one. (The only Utah Honda CNG dealer has a waiting list over 300 buyers.) Not surprisingly, some backyard conversions are taking place by drivers desperate to save money on the cheap, tax credit be damned. "Number of natural gas conversions explodes" was the unintentionally ironic headline in the Salt Lake Tribune. Reports of unsecured and rusty CNG tanks just might give pause to one's running red lights in Salt Lake City. Anyhow, Utah's natural gas reserves aren't much compared to other states such as Oklahoma or Texas. Texas. Doesn't Pickens live down there?

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10 Comments on “CNG Boondoggle of the Day: Utah is a Gas (OK?)...”


  • avatar
    KixStart

    Widespread adaptatio of CNG for tranportation is a wonderful idea, if the long-term goal is to continue to increase atmospheric CO2, electricity prices, home heating/cooling costs and ensure that all of T. Boone Picken’s heirs never need to lift a finger forever and ever and ever. Amen.

  • avatar
    bluecon

    Nancy Pelosi has invested in NG.
    She wants to convert to NG to wean the country from fossil fuels.

  • avatar
    tommy!

    The well-placed typo made me laugh.

    Pickens’ plan just seems too slick and slimy – even for a oil tycoon.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    CNG may make economic sense in fleets, even with price spikes in recent years. But without subsidies, it can’t compete with petrol at the consumer level.

    Of course, prices would be lower if NG weren’t being used to generate almost every extra marginal kilowatt of electricity we need…

  • avatar
    shaker

    Wonderful — many people’s largest single winter expense is natural gas (so much so that many are on “budget plans”, paying for it year round to ease the pain), and these a$$holes want to use it as motor fuel?
    Boondoggles the mind.

  • avatar
    fisher72

    Would rather heat my house than drive my car.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    Time to load up on more coal stocks. Strangely enough, ACI (Arch Coal) is down today so might be a buying opportunity.

  • avatar

    CNG seems to make a lot of sense: cheap and domestic.
    So why isn’t it more popular?

    In some European countries LPG cars are popular. My brother has one. It’s dual fuel: LPG or gasoline. You just flip a switch when you’re out of LPG and continue with gasoline.

    So how about a CNG version of that in the US?

  • avatar
    RedStapler

    IIRC Ford once offered a dual fuel F-150 pickup that ran on Gas and LPG.

  • avatar
    AG

    I thought that was the CNG Ford Ranger. Anyway, I don’t get why people think that oil supplies dwindling means NG supplies won’t dwindle, too.

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