The Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration reported that natural gas in storage grew by 30 billion cubic feet to 2.6 trillion cubic feet for the week ended May 4.
“As the United States moves away from a primarily petroleum-based transportation industry, a number of different alternative fuel sources — ethanol, biodiesel, electricity, and hydrogen — have each shown their own promise…adding one more contender to the list of possible energy sources for light-duty cars and trucks: compressed natural gas (CNG).”
This is not to say natural gas is a the only solution to imported oil, but it can slash our dependence while buying more time to develop new technologies in order to reduce the $350 billion we spend on imported oil, 40% of which is used to fuel U.S. vehicles.
In addition to improving U.S. energy security, CNG is currently half the price of gasoline, at $2 a gallon. According to an Argonne National Laboratory mechanical engineer, Thomas Wallner, unlike gasoline, CNG markets are insulated from geopolitical shocks.
“The price of CNG has been and will probably continue to be both cheaper and more stable over the long term than gasoline,” Wallner said.
To ensure adoption of CNG, distributors will need to offer it as an option at the pump, and improve infrastructure in order to deliver fuel.
CNG is a viable substitute for petroleum and adds to the list of alternative fuels-ethanol, methanol, and biodiesel. By embracing and placing a focus on these American-made substitutes, the U.S. can take one-step closer to oil independence.