The opportunity to manage a CNG facility several years ago made me a fan of the product, but unfortunately there has never been the necessary infrastructure in place to make it a viable alternative to oil based fuels for our transportation needs. That’s why I was happy to see that Loves Truck Stops was putting in some real infrastructure.
Love’s recently made a commitment to build 10 new CNG facilities at their existing locations along major highway corridors throughout Oklahoma; this will put Oklahoma more than half way to its goal of having 100 facilities state wide. That’s pretty impressive number considering that Nevada recently shut down its only public facility located on interstate 80, this was the only facility located between Salt Lake City and Sacramento. This limited infrastructure is what has always held back CNG as a viable alternative fuel.
Back in 2008 it seemed that there was some real momentum building for CNG as an alternative fuel. With the over a 100 year supply of natural gas being available domestically it seems to be a good way to hedge our fuel needs. Natural Gas also burns cleaner, emitting between 20% and 25% less carbon dioxide than oil-based fuels and less nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. Additionally the natural gas is a domestic product that currently employs about 622,000 people directly and helps to create about 2.2 million additional jobs. It is estimated that if the U.S. pursued natural gas as a true alternative to gasoline another 1 million jobs could be added to our domestic economy.
Natural gas makes sense, it’s a domestic product that creates jobs in the United States and helps keep American dollars working for America. It also burns substantially cleaner. The problem has always been that the infrastructure is too limited to make it a real alternative to oil based fuels. That’s why it’s good to see a national truck stop chain add CNG to their fueling facilities; I just hope they don’t stop in Oklahoma.