Making a difference
When trucks switch from diesel to natural gas two objectives can be reached at once: dependence on foreign oil can be reduced and fine particulates from diesel engines can be significantly reduced. When pressure from society accelerates the change significant gains can be expected.
On January 24, Rutgers Eco-Complex and a national environment organization, Energy Vision sponsored a one day seminar to encourage the switch to natural gas, Policymakers, municipal officials, refuse and recycling fleet operators were provided with information on the environmental and economic benefits of alternate fuels.
Featured at the seminar was Smithtown, Long Island where the community has mandated 100% natural gas refuse truck service for the town. Smithtown expects it’s 22 new trucks to be 50% quieter and eliminate the need for more than a million gallons of diesel fuel plus cut emissions by almost 500 tons. Source.
Also presenting at the seminar was David Demers, CEO of Westport Innovations. Westport is playing a key role in the switch to natural gas in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. More of this in an upcoming post.
The timing of the seminar could not have been better. News of huge natural gas reserves had just been announced a few weeks before.
It’s well known that the Marcellus black shale in northern Appalachia, which covers hundreds of square miles in five states (New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and West Virginia), contains natural gas. But now, two U.S. researchers have discovered that the reserves are much bigger than previously thought. They estimate that this gas field contains at least 168 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in place. And they suggest that the reservoir could deliver up to 516 trillion cubic feet. By comparison, the yearly consumption of natural gas worldwide is slightly above 100 trillion cubic feet. The U.S. currently produces roughly 30 trillion cubic feet of gas a year. Horizontal drilling techniques could help to recover about 50 trillion cubic feet of gas from the Marcellus. Source.