Transport Topics: Natural Gas Advancements

January 31 2017

For this edition of the Pickens Podcast, I went to the vault and pulled out a very interesting conversation between Fred Smith, Founder, Chairman, CEO & President of FedEx, Chris Spear, President and CEO of American Trucking Associations, and me.

Under Fred’s incredible leadership, FedEx has been the pointed end of the transportation fuel spear in moving his heavy-duty trucks from diesel to domestic natural gas. Fred tells us in this interview that FedEx Cargo and FedEx Ground drove 3 billion miles across the United States in 2015.

As I have been telling you for almost a decade, the benefits of natural gas as a transportation fuel are: It’s cheaper than diesel, it’s cleaner than diesel, it’s abundant, and it’s ours.

As one of the world’s largest consumers of transportation fuel, Fred also points out that because of its wide availability, natural gas has another advantage over diesel: It is price stable. Fred told me that just before the recession hit, oil was selling for $146 per barrel. This week oil is selling for about $53 per barrel. It is far easier for a major user to plan ahead when you know that the price of your transportation fuel will be stable.

Fred also talks about the new natural gas engines that are available today that are providing better mileage and cleaner operations, saying a new 8.9 liter natural gas engine from Cummins Westport, Inc. meets Nitrous Oxide emissions standards that are not required by the federal government for seven years.

Some of what you will hear, you’ve heard before, but it’s a great refresher. Much of this is new information you have never heard.

As we move into a new era of the way our Federal government looks at energy and environment, listening to this conversation will be a very valuable use of your time.

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– Boone

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