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Posts tagged “CNG”

By Robert Rapier on Mar 14, 2012 with 21 responses

Global Warming Primer & Natural Gas Vehicles — R-Squared Energy TV Ep. 15

In this week’s episode of R-Squared Energy TV, I answer questions about compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, and talk a little bit about global warming. Some of the topics discussed are:

  • The environmental footprint of a CNG vehicle versus an electric vehicle operating on natural gas-derived electricity
  • The prospects of CNG vehicles in the next 10 years
  • Why I generally do not write much about global warming
  • The basis of future climate change projections
  • The role of feedback mechanisms in climate change
  • The basis of the greenhouse effect
  • My concerns about the tenor of the debate
  • The real “carbon bomb” for the planet


By Robert Rapier on Feb 6, 2011 with 51 responses

The Natural Gas Debate

The Economist just finished hosting an online debate on natural gas. The resolution was an interesting one: This house believes that natural gas will do more than renewables to limit the world’s carbon emissions. At first glance, the statement may seem preposterous; after all natural gas is a fossil fuel and natural gas usage will therefore generate net carbon dioxide emissions. But there is perhaps more there than meets the eye. Arguing for the resolution was Robert Bryce, author of Power Hungry and Gusher of Lies, and Senior Fellow at the Center for Energy Policy and the Environment at the Manhattan Institute. Opposing the resolution was Steve Sawyer, the Secretary General for the Global Wind Energy Council. I was asked… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 10, 2011 with 36 responses

When Economic Recovery Collides with Flat Oil Production

A theme that I commonly discuss in articles and presentations is the problem of economic recovery when oil prices are high. If the market is well-supplied and there is ample excess oil production capacity, oil prices tend to be moderate and stable, and economic growth can proceed without much headwind. However, the world has now had essentially flat oil production for several years in the face of historically high prices. This implies — and I believe it is true — that there are serious supply constraints within the system. I believe that some countries do still possess spare capacity, but that the overall amount isn’t large. I think if there was much excess capacity, we would see countries taking advantage… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Sep 25, 2009 with no responses

CNG in Your Beer

Thanks to a reader for this story: Cheap Natural Gas Drives Truck Alternatives NEW YORK (Dow Jones) – If you order a beer in New York, the odds are growing that it was delivered by a truck running on natural gas. Beer distributors are among a growing vanguard of private trucking fleets encouraged by cheap natural gas and new government funding to adopt compressed natural gas, known as CNG, as a cleaner alternative to diesel. As I have argued before, I think it makes a lot of sense for fleet vehicles to migrate to compressed natural gas (CNG). Natural gas is historically a lot cheaper fuel than liquid fuels such as diesel or gasoline. A quick check of prices today… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 21, 2009 with 4 responses

Behind the Costs of CNG Conversions

In my recent post – How Much Natural Gas to Replace Gasoline? – I mentioned that it is quite expensive to convert a gasoline-powered vehicle to natural gas. If you drive a tremendous number of miles each year – as many fleets do – the conversion will pay for itself relatively quickly. For most of us, the savings wouldn’t be enough to justify the conversion. Today I received an e-mail from Marc J. Rauch, Exec. Vice President/Co-Publisher of The Auto Channel, who shed a bit more light on why the conversion is so expensive. I found this information quite useful, and I received his permission to post his e-mail, seen below. ———————————————- Hi Robert – Thanks for the work you… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 19, 2009 with 1 response

How Much Natural Gas to Replace Gasoline?

I Took This Picture of a CNG Bus on a Recent Trip to D.C. You may have seen the news this week that a report by the Potential Gas Committee says natural gas reserves in 2008 rose to 2,074 trillion cubic feet. The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal (via Rigzone) both had stories on it, and T. Boone Pickens issued a press release. First, from the New York Times (and this is a really good article): Estimate Places Natural Gas Reserves 35% Higher Thanks to new drilling technologies that are unlocking substantial amounts of natural gas from shale rocks, the nation’s estimated gas reserves have surged by 35 percent, according to a study due for release on… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 10, 2009 with no responses

Time to Switch to Natural Gas?

A couple of articles, both at Seeking Alpha, got me to thinking about whether it might be time to trade in my Petrobras (PBR) stock for something in the natural gas sector. From the first of the two articles: Natural Gas Should Get a Boost from China’s New Demand China has been developing natural gas vehicles for many years, recently the number of vehicles running on nat gas has risen dramatically. For example, the government of Xi’an in western China, a medium size with 8M population, has decided to mandate all city buses and taxis using natural gas. The government website reported 5000 buses and 20000 taxis was using nat gas in 2008, and is expected to grow in coming… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 2, 2009 with no responses

Natural Gas Gaining Momentum

I have said a number of times that I would prefer to take the natural gas we use to make ethanol and just use it directly in compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. Natural gas burns very cleanly, and I think that would be a lot more efficient than the convoluted scheme by which we turn natural gas into ethanol. One of the criticisms I sometimes encounter from ethanol advocates is that we would have to build out a new CNG infrastructure to do so. I always point out that the only reason we have built an E85 infrastructure is that taxpayers funded it. But I learned something of interest today when I was flying back to Texas from Europe. I… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 15, 2008 with no responses

Rahm Emanuel Proposal

Update I see from some of the comments following this story that my position needs to be clarified. There are several reasons that I think this is an important step forward. First, I have long advocated that we should use natural gas to directly fuel our vehicles instead of using the convoluted step of turning it into ethanol. Proponents of ethanol will often say “But there isn’t enough infrastructure.” This bill would help build out infrastructure. Second, with respect to this simply trading out one fossil fuel for another. That is true, today. But it helps diversify our energy supply. Most importantly, though, is that it is much easier to produce biogas than to produce renewable liquid fuels. Therefore, natural… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 6, 2006 with no responses

Rhode Island’s Smart Choice

Compressed Natural Gas A recent article in the Providence Journal caught my attention: Another fuel to power your car arrives in R.I. Some excerpts from the article: May 24–WARWICK — Hate the gas-guzzling SUV? Worried about greenhouse effects and smog? Fearful that we’ll someday run out of oil? Rhode Island’s eco-conscious, your day has come. Environmentalists have long offered the benefits of compressed natural gas vehicles as a solution to all of these problems. The engines burn immaculately clean. Vehicles powered by CNG produce only 10 percent of the carbon monoxide and particle discharge of gasoline-powered engines, and half the nitrogen oxides. Carbon dioxide discharge is reduced by 30 to 40 percent. The fuel, which is primarily methane, is cheaper… Continue»