UPS Makes a Wrong Turn – Buys into “Renewable” NatGas Hype

UPS, the package delivery company, is so excited they’re about to burst. The company issued a press release yesterday to announce they cut a deal to purchase 170 million gallon equivalents of so-called renewable natural gas (RNG) through 2026. It is “the largest commitment for use of RNG to date by any company in the United States.” Horray!!! What’s that? What is “renewable” natural gas? That’s methane from pig and cow poop, and from landfills. Somehow because the word “renewable” is slipped into the label, companies like UPS mistakenly believe Big Green will be pleased. We hate to burst their bubble…
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Put VW Settlement $$ to Good Use – Buy NatGas Vehicles!

Remember a few years back when Volkswagen got caught cheating on emissions tests for the cars they make? Bad move. It ended up costing a number of people at VW their jobs, and costing the company $2.9 billion in a settlement with the U.S. government. That shakedown money is now being doled out state by state, and we can’t think of a better way to use the money than by investing in NGVs (natural gas vehicles).
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WVU Study: How CNG/LNG Vehicles Can Lower Methane Emissions

Researchers at West Virginia University have just published a new study that looks at how to reduce methane emissions from LNG (liquefied natural gas) and CNG (compressed natural gas) fleet vehicles in coming years. Today’s heavy-duty natural gas fueled fleet is less than two percent of the total fleet. However, in the next 20 years, the heavy-duty truck fleet is expected to undergo a massive change–to as much as 50% of those vehicles powered by natural gas. That is a HUGE number! And potentially a huge new market for Marcellus/Utica gas! Natgas has a lot of advantages over diesel fuel, but folks are concerned over the mythical global warming potential of methane leaking into the atmosphere. Hence this study which looks at ways to prevent that…
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PA Launch 1st of 29 CNG Stations for Public Transit Buses

Yesterday Pennsylvania officials converged on Cambria County to unveil what is the first of 29 total CNG (compressed natural gas) fueling facilities that are being built in a public/private partnership for PA’s public bus transit fleet. Beginning this year and stretching through 2021, Trillium CNG will build and operate a total of 29 CNG fueling stations around the state. PA is paying Trillium, which is a subsidiary of Loves Travel Stops (see Love’s Travel Stops Buys Trillium CNG, Expands CNG Network), $84.5 million to build the stations. In addition to fueling public vehicles, some of the locations will be open to the public. Once the project is completed in 2021, those 29 CNG fueling stations will provide natgas for more than 1,600 CNG buses at transit agencies across the state–an important new market for homegrown, PA Marcellus Shale gas…
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UPS Adds 390 CNG, 50 LNG Trucks to Fleet in $90M NatGas Investment

UPS LNG tractor trailer

In 2013 we tipped our hat to UPS, the worldwide package delivery service, for their commitment to growing their natural gas fleet with a plan to add 700 new LNG (liquefied natural gas) tractor trailers to the fleet (see UPS to Grow NG Fleet with Additional 700 LNG Tractor Trailers). In 2015, UPS did it again. The company announced they would another 64 new LNG tractor trailers to the fleet–this batch based in Harrisburg, PA (see UPS Adds 64 New LNG Tractor Trailers to Fleet in Harrisburg, PA). It seems that UPS’s investment in natural gas comes every two years. Yesterday the company announced another massive $90 million investment in natural gas. UPS is adding an additional six compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations, 390 new CNG tractors and terminal trucks, and 50 liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles to its alternative fuel/advanced technology fleet…
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Marcellus Shale Coalition Joins ‘High Octane Low Carbon Alliance’

Tom Daschle - Lobbyist
Tom Daschle – Lobbyist

Ever wonder what it feels like to dance with the devil? The Marcellus Shale Coalition is about to find out. The MSC (a great organization run by a great guy, Dave Spigelmyer) has joined a coalition of groups in what is being called the High Octane Low Carbon Alliance. Groups in the Alliance include the MSC, Renewable Fuels Association, Clean Fuels Development Coalition, and Fuel Freedom Foundation. The groups are not anti-fossil fuel, but rather dedicated to lowering the cost of transportation fuel, and the carbon content in that fuel. In essence, the aim of the group is to get us off foreign/imported oil that currently powers our transportation industry. So we can see why the MSC has thrown in its lot with the others in this Alliance. The devil is not the partners in the group–it’s the person representing and lobbying for them: Tom Daschle. Recognize the name? Before the gangster Harry Reid was Majority (and now Minority) leader in the U.S. Senate, Tom Daschle held that position. Daschle is an extremely partisan/left-wing Democrat. People like Daschle leave office rich–enriching themselves is what loathsome politicians like Daschle do best. After they leave office, that’s when they get fat cat rich–by becoming lobbyists. And so the MSC and other groups in the Alliance have contracted with the devil himself to represent them…
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Clean Energy Deal to Rebuild CNG Station for 147 NJ Transit Buses

More clean-burning Marcellus and Utica Shale gas will be used to power New Jersey Transit buses–some 147 of them. Clean Energy Fuels Corp. announced last week it won a $10 million, multi-year procurement from New Jersey Transit to rebuild a large compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station, as well as additional garage modifications and the repair and maintenance of facilities through 2020. NJ Transit is expected to operate a fleet of 147 CNG commuter buses estimated to consume approximately 2 million gasoline gallon equivalents (GGEs) each year. While the announcement doesn’t specifically say Marcellus gas will power those buses, where else do you think the gas will come from? Fleets of trucks and buses are an important new market for the abundant natural gas we have beneath our feet, and Clean Energy is helping to create that future with deals like this one and the many other deals they’ve won…
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New CNG Tanks on the Way for Passenger Vehicles – Game Changer?

There’s been a break through in technology used for compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel tanks used in cars and trucks. Until now, the typical CNG fuel tank must be big and bulky and holds compressed gas at a pressure of 3,600 pounds per square inch (psi). United Technologies Corp. has innovated a new tank that is much smaller, using “activated carbon adsorbents” technology that will allow CNG to be stored at 1,000 psi. United Technologies has licensed their technology to Adsorbed Natural Gas Products, Inc. which will manufacture the new fuel tanks. If this catches on, it has the potential to up-end the passenger vehicle market by making CNG as attractive and convenient as gasoline–which would expand natural gas demand…
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The Truth About “Green” Electric Cars & What Really Powers Them

This may offend some, but it has to be said. Electric cars are manufactured to make rich, white liberals feel good about themselves–like they’re actually doing something to Save the Planet. The truth behind electric cars, however, is the opposite of what they believe. The thinking goes like this: “I’ll buy and drive an electric car and by doing so I’ll show all of my rich, white friends just how Green I am.” Here’s the truth: In 2015, 61% of all electricity was produced by either natural gas (31%) or coal (30%)–evil, vile, nasty fossil fuels, in the eyes of the rich, white liberal elites. Another 20% of electricity was produced by nuclear power plants, giving us a grand total of 81% of electricity running in those electric cars comes from “dirty” sources, in the minds of the libs. Do they realize that? Do they know their so-called “green” cars are actually powered mostly by fossil fuels? Another statistic: In 2015, 9% of all electricity in the U.S. was produced by so-called renewables, like wind and solar. Still feel good about yourselves, you dolts? In what can only be considered a laugh-out-loud moment, last week the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released its 19th Annual Comprehensive Environmental Ratings for Vehicles. Electric vehicles (EVs) got 9 of the top 12 spots in the ACEEE Environmental Vehicle Rankings for being “greenest.” There’s also a list of “greener” vehicles, and (of course), a list of “meanest” vehicles–those that use nasty fossil fuels and belch out carbon dioxide (the same thing you exhale with every breath). The ACEEE rating is yet another attempt to make rich, white libs feel good about themselves…
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CNG for 34 Cents/Gal Equivalent! Fill ‘Er Up for Price of a Coke

This story will appear to be inaccurate, or a “too good to be true” story. We assure you it is not. In December Congress passed a new law granting a retroactive (for 2015) tax cut on alternative fuels, and proactive tax cut for 2016. It amounts to a 50 cent savings per gallon equivalent for things like compressed natural gas (CNG). Following the tax cut, 7-Eleven Stores in Oklahoma at their locations with CNG pumps, reduced the price of their CNG to 39 cents per equivalent gallon of gasoline. If you use the 7-Eleven debit card, you can get it for 34 cents per equivalent gallon. No lie: you can fill up your CNG car up at 7-Eleven for little more than the price of a 20-ounce bottle of Coca Cola! Now THAT’s incredible…
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UPS Adds 64 New LNG Tractor Trailers to Fleet in Harrisburg, PA

Two years ago we tipped our hat to UPS, the worldwide package delivery service, for their commitment to growing their natural gas fleet with a plan to add 700 new LNG (liquefied natural gas) tractor trailers to the fleet (see UPS to Grow NG Fleet with Additional 700 LNG Tractor Trailers). Good news: UPS has done it again. The company announced last week they are adding another 64 new LNG tractor trailers to the fleet–this batch based in Harrisburg, PA. No doubt cheap, abundant Marcellus Shale gas had something to do with that decision…
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Trucking Co Building CNG Station in Scranton, PA for New Fleet

C.A.T. Inc. (formerly Canadian American Transportation) is taking the plunge. They’ve decided to convert nearly a third of their tractor trailer fleet (100 out of 325) to compressed natural gas (CNG). C.A.T. is leasing 100 new CNG tractors from Ryder for their national fleet. In order to ensure those trucks can fuel up, they’ve contracted with U.S. Oil to build five new GAIN® Clean Fuel compressed natural gas (CNG) stations. One of those stations will be located in the heart of the Marcellus Shale–in Scranton, PA–using clean, abundant Marcellus Shale gas to keep the big rigs rolling…
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PA Spending $6M on Program to Convert Vehicles to Natgas

The Pennsylvania Marcellus is a gift that keeps on giving. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett announced yesterday that the third round of funding from Act 13 funds to convert vehicles to run on natural gas will open tomorrow–August 30th. So far PA has collected over $600 million in “impact fees” from Marcellus drillers under the Act 13 law passed by Corbett early in his administration. Most (60%) of impact fee revenue goes back to the local communities where drilling occurs–to compensate them for the hassles or “impacts” that come with drilling. But 40% of the impact fee money goes to communities (or programs) with no active drilling. We uncharitably call it political walking around money. Necessary to grease the hands of greedy politicians. Some of that walking around money goes to fund the conversion of cars and trucks to run on compressed natural gas–a worthy cause in our opinion. This time around $6 million of impact fee money will go to fund natgas vehicle conversions. Who can apply? Just about anyone–except individuals. It must be a company, non-profit or government agency/entity…
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CNG Truck Fleets Now Mainstream? NY Company Buys 15 CNG Trucks

Is this a sign of things to come? The “received wisdom” has been that compressed natural gas (CNG) used to power cars and trucks is more hope and wishful thinking than it is reality. But maybe, just maybe, the tide as now turned and CNG is more reality than it is hope. Case in point: Trillium CNG, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group Inc., announced last September that it will build a new CNG fueling station next door to Willow Run Foods in Kirkwood, NY. Yes, Kirkwood, NY is in MDN’s own backyard! Willow Run Foods is a large packaged foods company that delivers food to fast food restaurants in 14 East Coast-area states.

With trucks running to 14 different states, some of which run on CNG, you have to ask–how will they get home? They’ll have to fill up somewhere. Which means there are enough CNG fueling depots scattered around, at least for some of their regular runs, that CNG will work. Oh, and diesel fuel right now (in the Binghamton area) is $4.37 per gallon. The equivalent CNG is $2.60–so you can see why Willow Run has invested in 15 CNG rigs.
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OSU Tech/Money Backs Ohio Start-up Bringing CNG to Everyone

We have a chicken and egg problem with CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicles: you need vehicles with engines converted, or designed, to run on CNG, and you need a way to fuel up. Detroit is listening–they’re coming out with a flurry of new CNG vehicles this year, including the Ford F-150 pickup truck. The only thing holding it all back seems to be a way to keep the tank filled. Americans have always been of the mindset that you head on down to the local filling station or these days, convenience store, to fill ‘er up. Filling stations are slowly beginning to offer CNG (and along interstate highways, LNG for big rigs), but it’s not happening nearly fast enough.

Since you can burn the very same natural gas in your vehicle that you use to heat your home and cook with, wouldn’t it be great if there were a box you could hang on your garage wall that enables you to compress the gas from the local utility company to be used at home–just fill ‘er up at home? Wow, that would be awesome–and that’s just what an Ohio start-up company, using technology innovated at Ohio State University, is doing. With a $1 million investment from OSU, Simple-Fill is launching a very cool solution for businesses and homeowners that will enable them to use their existing natural gas hookup to fill up their CNG vehicles. Imagine never having to stop by the convenience store again (except to pick up a lottery ticket)…
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Energy Industry Leaders Gather at Platts Forum in NYC

One week ago, MDN editor Jim Willis attended the Platts Global Energy Outlook Forum in New York City. The Forum, an annual event that attracts the titans of the worldwide energy industry, was held at the swanky Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Although Jim has been traveling to NYC for years and prides himself on his ability to navigate Manhattan on the subway, every now and again he botches it–like this time. So he ended up walking an extra 6-7 city blocks after getting off at the wrong stop (doh!). But that’s OK. It was a brisk day and the walk did him good.

Rather than get on the ungodly 3:10 am bus from Binghamton to NYC, Jim elected to ride the 6:10 am bus, which was late arriving at the Port Authority due to traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel. So he missed the first session and joined the second session shortly after it had begun. But wow, what a session it was! Below Jim shares his notes from the session “Switching, Ditching and Bridging Fuels,” his notes and impressions from the lunch keynote address by DOE Sec. Ernest Moniz, and his notes from the afternoon session titled, “Midstream Gathers Momentum”. Jim got to hear some of the biggest names in energy. It was all a bit heady for a “small time” natural gas blogger with an attitude…
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