Here they are: Natural Gas.
I’m as bullish on domestic oil as the next guy, but I’m also a realist. I don’t see any way to solve a problem with the scope and breadth of our nation’s dependence on foreign crude oil during a president’s term of office. It is simply not an overnight solution.
Yes, the national average gasoline price was below $2.00 per gallon when President Obama took office. It stayed there for all of four months. That was a time when we were all reeling from the economy’s precipitous decline, coupled with a historic collapse in the crude oil price from $140 to $36 per barrel.
We can’t find and produce oil and bring it to market for $36 per barrel. Not from the sources you name – the eastern Gulf, ANWR. It will take many years to bring on new oil from those sources anyway. The only way I see prices getting back to $2 per gallon is with demand destruction — a collapsing economy. Personally, I’d prefer not to see the Dow below 7,000 again in my lifetime.
But there is a solution, and one that could make you look like a genius: natural gas. Good American natural gas, right here, today, is less than $2.00 on a gasoline-equivalent basis.
We’re blessed with an abundant, domestic resource base of natural gas. It is a clean transportation fuel that would directly put a dent in oil imports. A strategic focus on natural gas would create jobs almost immediately. The flow of royalties, severance taxes, sales and income taxes would benefit private and public coffers alike.
A strategic commitment to natural gas as a transportation fuel is the one thing that might get us $2.00 per gallon gasoline (equivalent).
Cross-posted at RedState.com.
Hi Steve –
I’m not registered at RedState, so I figured I would leave a message here. Although I like your concept, its somewhat unworkable. Natural gas transmission lines are pressed to their limit, and building new infrastructure has become increasingly more difficult. One of your commenters mentioned methanol, based on either coal or natural gas reformation. Methanol has issues, but would work in the current liquid fuel distribution network.
Steve. I too, am bullish on natural gas as a substitute/replacement for gasoline. However, with current technology, vehicles using compressed natural gas (CNG) for their fuel, have very limited range. Even a regular 1/2 ton pickup would need several large CNG canisters taking up over half of it’s bed to get a range of over 100 miles before having to be refueled. Refueling is also a problem (though this is due more to lack of infrastructure rather than technology) due to the amount of time it takes to refuel with CNG. I am certain that with good ole American ingenuity these issues can be solved. But with the current poisonous fossil-fuel atmosphere emanating from the current administration, I’m afraid we are a years away from the solution.
I think your negative impression needs to be updated. I’ve recently seen the LA Oil and Gas Association’s dual fuel SUV (either a Yukon or a Tahoe). You sacrifice luggage space for tanks, but not half a pickup bed full. Refueling at a commercial station takes about as long as gasoline. A low pressure home refueling system takes overnight.
Thanks for your comment.