Budweiser_Clydesdales_Boston

Budweiser trades Clydesdales for natural gas

The famous Clydesdales that have hauled Budweiser’s barrels of beer since the 19th century are finally being replaced by 21st century compressed natural gas-driven vehicles.

Well, it isn’t quite that simple. There’s been an 80-year interval between the 19th and 21st centuries, when Budweiser’s trucks ran on gasoline and diesel fuel. But for 66 trucks at Budweiser’s Houston brewery, the 53-foot trailers loaded with 50,000 pounds are now going to be hauled by trailers running on compressed natural gas.

Anheuser-Busch actually has plans to convert its entire fleet to natural gas, according to James Sembrot, senior transportation director. “It’s significant that A-B feels comfortable swapping for an entire fleet that runs on CNG,” Christopher Helman wrote in Forbes. According to Sembrot, “the intention of shifting to natgas…is to reduce carbon emissions and fuel costs, while doing something green(ish).”

“The Houston brewery is among the biggest of the 14 that A-B operates nationwide. The closest breweries to this one are in Fort Collins, Colo., and St. Louis. Each truck rolls virtually around the clock — traveling in an average of 140,000 miles in a single year hauling beer to wholesalers. They move 17 million barrels of beer each year.” That’s a lot of beer running on natural gas.

Actually, it’s not Anheuser-Busch that is taking the initiative on Budweiser. The natural gas vehicles are being made available through Ryder, the nation’s largest trucking company since merging with Budget Truck Rental in 2002. Budget now has 2,800 businesses and 132,000 trucks around the country. Although only a small percentage run on natural gas, the company is dedicated to converting its fleet with all due dispatch, and the savings may prove to be extraordinary. According to Helman, “Sembrot tells me that the old trucks were getting 6.2 miles per gallon of diesel and running 140,000 miles per year. That equates to 1.45 million gallons of diesel to go 9.2 million miles. At about $3.80 per gallon, that’s roughly $5.5 million in total diesel costs per year. If they save about 30 percent per ‘gallon equivalent’ when buying CNG, that’s a savings of about $1.65 million per year.” That’s a lot of money save for switching to natural gas.

But it’s not just Budweiser and Ryder and a few forward-looking companies that are pushing ahead with natural-gas vehicles. The whole state of Texas seems to have gotten the bug. The Lone Star State now has 106 CNG filling stations, the most in the country. Forty are them are open to the public, while the others are fleet vehicles where vehicles from Anheuser-Busch and Ryder can fill up. Actually, far ahead of these innovators are FedEx and UPS, which have not converted their fleets for many years. And hovering in the background is T. Boone Pickens and his “hydrogen highway,” which is installing huge natural gas depots at key truck stops along the Interstate system. Much of this is aimed at Texas and the first complete link has joined San Diego to Austin in a seamless string of stations that will allow tractor-trailers to make the whole trip on natural gas.

All this has done wonders for Texas tax collections. At the start of the year, the Texas Controller’ Office was anticipating revenues less than $ million from excise taxes. Yet by July 31, 2014, collections were 220 times of that anticipated, and the Texas Controller’s office had collected $2,178,199. “These collections are more than double the estimated amount,” said David Porter, Texas Railroad Commissioner. “At 15 cents per gallon equivalent, $2 of motor fuels tax equals sales of 14,521,326 gallon equivalents of natural gas.”

Texas may be famous for fracking and producing more oil than Iraq, but they do not hesitate to look for new uses for gas and oil as well.

 

Photo by by Paul Keleher from Mass, US.

Q&A: He ran Shell Oil Co. – and he thinks we use too much crude

Houston Chronicle

The film’s premise is that America is addicted to oil, and that the addiction is fueled by corporations and policymakers with a vested interest in ensuring that gasoline remains the country’s transportation fuel of choice – even though there are viable alternatives, to blend with gasoline or substitute for it. They include ethanol – pure alcohol usually made from corn or sugarcane but also from non-food organic mate- rial; methanol, a fuel and chemical building block derived from natural gas and some renewable sources; compressed natural gas; and liquefied natural gas.

 

Believe it: PUMP beat ‘Maze Runner’ at the box office

Pump-marqueePUMP opened well in its opening weekend, ranking among the highest-grossing films in the country in the important category of per-screen average (PSA) gross receipts.

The full-length documentary played in three theaters (one in Los Angeles and two in New York City) from Friday through Sunday, but those theaters took in an average of $14,067, according to the website Box Office Mojo. That put PUMP fifth among all of the week’s releases, ahead of even the overall box-office champ, “The Maze Runner” ($9,021 PSA).

PUMP’s showing was a “very good start” for a documentary playing in just two cities, writes Tom Brueggemann on the Thompson on Hollywood blog:

The directors of the environment-related docs “Fuel” and “The Big Fish” combined with the distributor of “Chasing Ice” to launch what is initially a very good start in New York and Los Angeles. “Ice” got to an impressive (for a message doc) $1.3 million, and this looks like it might be off to some similar success.

PUMP is coming to more cities this week, including Boston and Salt Lake City. Southern Californians will have several more opportunities to catch it: It’s playing at the Crest in Westwood Friday, Saturday and Sunday; and at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena on the same days.

Visit PumpTheMovie.com for dates times, as well as the full list of cities so far. You can buy advance tickets as well.

Meantime, the early reviews of PUMP are in, and the best among them take the time to consider the impact of the message, not just the artistic value of directors.

Take this one from Sheri Linden of The Hollywood Reporter:

“The shift from quiet how-we-got-here outrage to hope, in the form of hands-on specifics, torques Pump and gives it momentum. From a well-illustrated lecture, the movie turns into an advocacy manual, illuminating information that Big Oil would rather keep under wraps. Joining the talking-head policy wonks are entrepreneurs and citizen hackers who have devised real solutions to counter oil’s stranglehold.”

If word of mouth on PUMP keeps spreading, more theater managers will book the film. We want as many people to see it as possible so we can make our voices heard.

Visit PumpTheMovie.com to learn how you can help.

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Hannity on PUMP: A story ‘America needs to know’

Sean Hannity is a big fan of the message contained within the documentary film PUMP, because it’s one he’s been promoting himself for years.

The conservative radio and Fox News host welcomed Fuel Freedom chairman and co-founder Yossie Hollander and board adviser John Hofmeister on “The Sean Hannity Show” on radio Thursday.

Hannity primed the pump for PUMP’s theatrical release Friday with this introduction:

“How many times have I said on this program that oil, energy, is the answer to all of our problems? I’ve said it so often. Well, now there is an eye-opening documentary that I want you to go see. … I have no [rooting] interest in this movie, except that it tells the story that I have been trying to tell you now for such a long period of time about America and how we can become energy independent, about how there’s a lot going on in the oil industry, where we all pay more. How we are all dependent on oil from countries, many of whom just kind of hate our guts. And it’s been put together in a fabulous documentary that is now gonna be released in movie theaters around the country [Friday].

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Auto Industry Doc Pump Emphasizes Our Oil Consumption is Unsustainable

TheVillageVoice.com

A car’s high beams trace slow-motion lightning across the highway. An auto worker in suspenders strides the factory floor. These seductive images of the American automotive industry act as dreamy parentheses to Josh and Rebecca Tickell’s compelling and cogent documentary Pump, which examines why Americans are so lacking in options at the gas station, what that means about the future of transportation and environmental health, and why the oil-driven American Dream must die — why it is dying.

The crisis at the ‘Pump’ (and how to fix it)

MNN.com

Many documentaries have decried the evils of Big Oil. After all, there’s a lot to hate: it holds our wallets hostage, pollutes the planet’s atmosphere, it’s one of the motivating factors behind American involvement in Middle East conflicts in past and present centuries, and it has a grip on us that’s exceedingly difficult to break. So what’s different about the new film from Josh and Rebecca Tickell? “Pump” takes a proactive approach, spotlighting the things other countries, innovative companies, and enterprising individuals are doing in the realm of alternative fuels.