Friday, August 14, 2009

Smartest people in the country - Chu, Gore, Wm. Clinton, Boone Pickens, Reid, etc - nod in agreement... America's six million plus 18-wheelers on natural gas.

According to the eponymously-titled Pickens Plan, to do so could cut foreign oil imports in half. Here's a video clip from the recent Natural Clean Energy Summit 2.0. The momentum appears to be building. Despite the long-term promise of electric vehicles, it's gratifying to see, at this summit, that none are promoting conversion of the trucking industry to electric power just yet. Today's electric motors will not power an 18-wheeler. But, apparently, natural gas will.

An impressive collection of luminaries at this table seem to concur. See what you think:

If you're up for some exploration, additional info on T. Boone Pickens and The Pickens Plan is available here and here.

For what it's worth, Boone Pickens impresed me enough to sign up for emails from his "Army headquarters" (All his emails all start: "Hey Army!")

My kinda guy.

UPDATE: Here's the latest propaganda... if you're so inclined:

: Are the possibilities for real? Here's a press release from last May issued by Kenworth Truck Company regarding it's client Border Valley Trading, a California agri-trucking company, that just replaced it's diesel fleet with 15 new Kenworth LNG(liquefied natural gas)-powered T-800s. Judge for yourself.

UPDATE 3: The Austin Statesman (newspaper) weighs in on T. Boone, The Pickens Plan and the Nat Gas Act with its September 16th editorial "Break the Curse of Oil Addiction." From the editorial:
Big rigs are constantly on the move, spewing fossil fuel emissions in their wake. Incentives for trucking companies to buy natural gas-burning vehicles would lessen dependence on foreign oil and contribute to cleaner air. Transmission and delivery costs would be miniscule when compared to the savings, Pickens said.

Though battery powered vehicles are hailed as the transportation future, batteries aren't practical for powering 18-wheelers, Pickens says, and there are transportation experts who concur...

Like the junkies we are, we promise to get clean after just one more fix. And so it goes until the next time OPEC dries up the supply and drives up the price of U.S. energy.

Rigs that burn natural gas may not be the whole solution, but that certainly is a move in the right direction.

UPDATE #4: From the Arizona Daily Star, October 16:

New compressed-natural-gas station opens

Tucson, Arizona | Published: 10.16.2009

A Tucson Unified School District bus gets a fill-up with gas literally in gaseous form. On Thursday, Clean Energy Fuels Corp., the school district and the Pima Association of Governments/Tucson Clean Cities Coalition debuted the new natural-gas station at 1744 E. Winsett St., near South Kino Parkway. It's open to the public. At front, from left, bus driver Verlin Mosley, Jeff Ell of Tucson Young Professionals and county schools staff members Vaughn Croft and Curtis Dutiel observe the fueling process. The district, which has 70 CNG buses, is expected to be a large customer for the relatively clean-burning fuel, which is sometimes cheaper than gasoline. The station is operated by Clean Energy.


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