Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Natural Gas - The Biggest Stimulus in the U.S.

The biggest stimulus package imaginable with long-term strength lies in our vast reserves of natural gas. In fact, U.S. and Canada have enough reserves to power all vehicles, including diesels, for the next 80-118 years.The U.S. could break their dependence on foreign oil as fast as cars could be retrofitted or new ones rolled out. Ten million cars fueled by natural gas are already in operation around the world. The distribution channels, such as trucking, pipelines, and train, already exist.

Ethanol has proven to be a global failure especially when produced from food crops such as corn. It's production has dramatically raised food prices and threatens to cause disruptions in the price of other commodities like soybeans. The rain forest is being burnt and cleared at record paces to make more agricultural land for ethanol purposes. This leads to increased global warming.

Natural gas burns much cleaner than gasoline, is readily available, and has alternative sources that aren't food related. North America has enough to provide the U.S. a domestic-based fuel, at the same or lower price as foreign oil. There are enough reserves already to last more than 100 years if used alone. That 100 years could be greatly extended by mixing with alternative fuels (non-food sources). Most importantly it would provide the U.S. ample time to pursue other viable, earth-friendly fuel sources, while reducing price fluctuations due to foreign instability.

The time to use natural gas for vehicles is here. We must get to it as soon as we can, because this is critical to our economy both now and long-term. The benefits include:

  • Keeps domestic money here, reduces exports, and produces jobs domestically
  • Reduces greenhouse gases substantially
  • Stabilizes fuel price fluctuations
  • Eliminates foreign dependence
  • Eliminates need to produce ethanol using food staples such as corn. The government should end subsidies to any producers still using corn or other food source.
  • Reduces inflationary pressures caused by high oil and food prices
The impact on our national economy would be tremendous. It simply cannot be ignored any longer! There are already politicians in favor of expanding the use of natural gas for vehicles, but others need to get on board. Write your representative and tell them that now is the time to put our plentiful natural gas reserves into play.

The Economy Answer - Natural Gas Vehicles

Demand Side Economics of Oil

The U.S. imported nearly 70% of its oil in 2008. The U.S. has only 4% of the world's population, just 3% of the world's oil reserves, yet uses 25% of the world's oil. OPEC controls the supplies to boost prices that American's have no choice but to pay. The U.S. demand for oil contributes greatly to its own economic demise.This demand could be eliminated and result in a great economic boost for the U.S. How? Switch all cars to natural gas and quit using oil altogether. Natural gas is already being used in both diesel and gas cars right now worldwide to the tune of 10 million vehicles.

Supply Side Reaction to Curbed Demand

Even as the United States curbed its demand, OPEC countries would have to deal with growing inventories and need to lower prices. This takes them out of the driver's seat, and in many ways, forced to negotiate on different fronts. Without oil monies, some rogue countries wouldn't have the same power and influence to hold the world hostage.

Other Invaluable Gains

Natural gas costs, on average 1/3 less to fill a vehicle. About 98% of the U.S. consumption is produced in the U.S. and Canada. The Energy Information Agency (EIA) predicts that over 98% of natural gas used in the U.S. will come from the U.S. alone by 2030. A recent study found that the U.S. already has 118 years of natural gas resources itself. The 1 1/2 million miles of pipelines and distribution lines across the U.S. makes it readily available to nearly anyone.

Natural gas produces 22 to 29% less greenhouse gas emissions than diesel or gasoline-powered vehicles, respectively, and less urban pollution. Source: State Alternative Fuels Plan, California Energy Commission, Adopted December 5, 2007.Natural Gas has Renewable Options Too!Natural gas can be produced from any organic waste or energy crop like switchgrass. Conservative estimates suggest that the U.S. could produce the equivalent of 10 billion barrels of gasoline by producing biomethane (renewable natural gas). This potential is nearly infinite when biomethane production from cellulosic energy crops is considered.Unlike Ethanol, natural gas does not compete with food sources, and drive up its prices. Ethanol also has distribution issues that natural gas doesn't. Greater ethanol use would only create more food shortages and higher prices.

The U.S. Must Act Now

Quit putting the economic status of the U.S. in the hands of foreign countries, by using fuel sources found at home.Its good for the environment, good for reducing foreign imports, and good for the pocketbook of every American. To top it off, it boosts the economy by keeping the jobs right here at home.