Given “proper government policies”, natural gas fuel for vehicles could reduce imports “the equivalent of about 10 billion gallons of gasoline within 15 years”, says Rich Kolodziej, NGVAmerica president.
Testifying before the U.S. House Energy and Power Subcommittee this week in a hearing entitled The American Energy Initiative: Challenges and Opportunities for Alternative Transportation Fuels and Vehicles, Richard Kolodziej, president of NGVAmerica, said the New Alternative to Give Americans Solutions (NAT GAS) Act of 2011 (H.R. 1380) would jump start the use of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) in the United States. These vehicles would be powered by domestically produced natural gas rather than gasoline or diesel.
“We estimate that NGVs used about 43 billion cubic feet of natural gas in the U.S. last year,” said Kolodziej. “That’s the equivalent of 320 million gallons of gasoline we did not have to import. However, with proper government policies, that number could reasonably grow to 1.25 trillion cubic feet, or the equivalent of about 10 billion gallons of gasoline within 15 years.”
Kolodziej’s testimony comes just one week after the Potential Gas Committee, said to be one of the most well regarded organizations for estimating resources, issued its highest resource evaluation in its 46-year history, reaffirming its conviction that natural gas resources are abundant in the United States.
H.R. 1380 would provide federal incentives for the production, purchase and use of natural gas vehicles and for the expansion of NGV fueling infrastructure. While the bill would provide these incentives for only five years, it would make NGVs the economic choice for many more fleets, he added.
“This would accelerate NGV use, which, in turn would bring more NGV manufacturers into the market, increase competition and drive down the first-cost premium (of buying a natural gas vehicle),” Kolodziej told the committee.
Kolodziej emphasised the opportunities available to fleets, particularly for diesel-powered heavy duty vehicles where natural gas can make the biggest impact. “While there are many options to displace gasoline in light-duty vehicles, there are very few options to displace diesel in trucks, buses and other heavier vehicles,” he said. “This is important since trucks are the economic lifeblood of America. Everything we buy moves by truck. If we reduce the cost of trucking, we reduce the cost of everything.”
NGVAmerica is a national organization dedicated to the development of a growing, sustainable and profitable market for vehicles powered by natural gas (CNG/LNG) or biomethane.
This article compiled using information from an NGVAmerica press release.