Vegetable Oil vs. Natural Gas

The Wall Street Journal has a pretty comprehensive look at the whys… and why nots… of using natural gas as an automobile fuel in the US.  See:  America, start your natural gas engines. by Tom Fowler.

Worth a read since so much of the hope for natural gas markets.. and thus natural gas prices.. and thus royalties and the long term economic impact of natural gas production in Pennsylvania and environs.. seems to point back to this vision of America’s automobile fleet switching away from gasoline.

I did recently observe the second vehicle I’ve ever seen using the natural gas station opened to much fanfare in the Strip District.   On closer inspection it turned out to be a vehicle owned by Equitable Gas itself as was advertised throughout its body paint.   So in a sense that may not count.  I am still really curious if there is a single resident of the City of Pittsburgh using a natural gas vehicle for their private conveyance?  Anyone? Just one?  Years ago there clearly were some folks in Friendship with a natural gas vehicle, but I don’t think there are any today.  So I am looking for someone other than someone working for the gas companies or otherwise directly subsidized to use such a vehicle I will stipulate.  I bet we could get you some media coverage if you exist.  Or is it the case that privately owned Natural Gas vehicles are outnumbered in the city of Pittsburgh by cars running on Vegetable Oil? Just asking the question is all.

Anyway… the article points out some of the hurdles to getting natural gas into US automobiles; hurdles that the industry seems to just skip over if you read most of their prognostications.  For sure it’s not impossible by any means. I pointed out long ago that in the Netherlands there is a wide infrastructure at commercial stations to provide LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) which many cars there run.  Still I wonder what the betting line would be on when the first station taking Fuelperks for natural gas comes into existance within Allegheny County.

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