… that for more than 40 years, every President has promised to make the U.S. energy independent, but over that same period, we went from importing 24% of our oil to importing over 60%?
Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush each meant it when they said it, but because oil was cheap, it was easier to kick the problem down the road. However, over the past year, when worldwide demand began to exceed worldwide production, the price of oil went up and now has everyone’s attention.
… that President Obama has urged Congress to develop the energy plan this country deserves.
In his 2012 State of the Union address, the President singled out America’s abundant natural gas reserves as the cornerstone of a comprehensive energy plan, one that will generate much needed jobs as well as decrease the country’s dependence on foreign oil.
“This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy – a strategy that’s cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs.”
Speaking to a standing-room-only audience that included Members of both the House and the Senate as well as the Supreme Court and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the President singled out the importance of this domestic fuel:
“We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly one hundred years, and my Administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy. Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade.”
The President also pointed out several other crucial benefits to developing America’s abundant supplies of domestic natural gas. First of all, it’s a cleaner burning fuel that’s better for the environment. And, second, it can power cars as well as heavy-duty trucks:
“The development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don’t have to choose between our environment and our economy.”
… that the Pickens Plan does not oppose additional drilling in the U.S.?
In order to reduce our dependence on OPEC oil, we must use all of our available domestic resources. We will eventually need everything that we can produce in this country, whether it is new sources of domestic oil, additional natural gas, coal, nuclear, or renewable fuels to replace imported oil and stop shipping dollars overseas.
But remember – we are importing 12 million barrels of oil each day. There is not enough oil left in the Outer Continental Shelf, off the East and West Coasts, and in Alaska combined to make up that oil deficit.
… that Natural Gas is cheaper, more abundant and is an America resource to cover us until a more permanent solution to our transportation needs is developed?
More than 70% of US imported oil is used in transportation. Of all of the domestic energy resources available (domestic oil, natural gas, nuclear, coal, wind, solar, hydro, geo-thermal and bio fuels), only natural gas is easily used as a transportation fuel today. It is significantly less expensive than gasoline or diesel with prices in the range of $1.50 per gallon equivalent.
Electric cars like the General Motors “Volt” use battery power, but they are light-duty vehicles. You can’t run an 18-wheeler on a battery.
… that Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) are already in wide use?
Using natural gas for transportation is not a new idea; it is a proven technology. Municipal bus systems across the country have been using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for decades. Currently, approximately 20% of public transit buses in the U.S. run on CNG.
There are nearly 10 million NGVs worldwide and that number is growing rapidly. But, there are only about 150,000 in the United States. There are numerous manufacturers of natural gas vehicles for the world market, including Ford, Honda and General Motors.
… that the Pickens Plan does not depend on your family vehicle to succeed?
It is not family automobiles which will make the biggest and fastest impact. Of all the oil used for transportation, 38% is used by fleet vehicles – heavy-duty trucks, buses, municipal and utility vehicles.
About one out of every three barrels of imported oil goes into the manufacture of diesel fuel for tractor-trailers to move goods around the country. If, over the next decade, trucking companies large and small replaced their diesel vehicles with trucks running on either Compressed or Liquified Natural Gas, we would very nearly meet our goal of cutting oil imports by 30% right there.
We need to start with the largest fleets and then move into Main Street America. It will take some time but standing still and continuing down the imported oil path is not a realistic option.
… that Natural Gas Vehicles are safe?
You probably use natural gas in your home for cooking, heating, hot water, etc. If it’s safe for use inside your home, it is safe to use to power a vehicle.
Federally mandated tests, including collision, fire and high pressure tests prove that natural gas vehicles are safe. Unlike gasoline which can spill and remain on the ground at an accident scene, natural gas quickly dissipates because it is lighter than air. Natural gas has an ignition temperature double that of gasoline so an accidental fire is unlikely.
… that we have plenty of Natural gas to do this?
Natural gas is our country’s second largest energy resource and a vital component of our energy supply. More than 98% of the natural gas used in the United States is from North America. A recent study released by the American Clean Skies Foundation indicates that we have enough natural gas to last more than 100 years.
… that Natural Gas burns significantly cleaner than gas or diesel?
Natural gas is the cleanest transportation fuel in widespread use today. According to the California Energy Commission, greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas are 23% lower than diesel and 30% lower than gasoline. Natural gas produces virtually no particulate emissions, making it much cleaner than diesel. In fact, the natural gas Honda Civic GX—which is assembled in Ohio—is rated as the cleanest production vehicle in the world. You can learn more about this car by clicking here.