Crude oil is at $100, meanwhile we sit here as a nation awash in natural gas; we have so much of it that we have literally run out of places to store it. For reals.
Bespoke nails the zeitgeist with their post this morning on how incredibly stretched the Oil-to-Nat Gas ratio is right now:
They ask why we haven’t done anything as a country to take advantage of this disparity. We have a 200-year supply of natural gas on our own soil, we could put millions to work building out the infrastructure for the clean-burning fuel. This while helping the environment and starving the OPEC terror supporters.
As someone who pounded the table for action throughout 2010, I’ll give you the laundry list of why we’re still sitting around like idiots:
1. While Westport Innovations ($WPRT) has CNG (compressed nat gas) engine deals with manufacturers like Cummins ($CMI), there simply won’t be a big switch in trucking until there is a tax credit for the truck owners to buy new rigs. Right now, the buses and garbage trucks are switching because they can all be refueled with CNG at a centralized depot each night. Long-haul vehicles can’t really run on CNG because they require fueling infrastructure along the highways that won’t exist without incentives.
2. Harry Reid was the single filthiest player in the Senate last year in terms of using the nat gas trucking initiative as a political gambit instead of seriously getting the Act passed. He was for nat gas trucking credits only until he needed something to give away to keep the balls in the air. When you’re paying $5 a gallon at the pump, you can call Reid a traitor under your breath as I will.
3. T. Boone Pickens has lobbied his ass off in DC but because of his Chairmanship and status as largest shareholder of Clean Energy Fuels Corp ($CLNE), he never seemed to be able to shake off the “talking his book” taint. The guy is like 105 years old, I only hope he lives to see these imbeciles in Washington wake up and get this done.
4. We are Americans and only get outraged enough to take action right before we are past the point of no return. Winston Churchill said “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.” Unfortunately, it looks like we’re going to be playing the victim a while longer.