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Los Angeles Times Chronicles Switch to Natural Gas

06 Jan 2014, by mataiaia in Uncategorized

Boone Pickens has long touted the many advantages of using domestic natural gas as a transportation fuel. According to the Los Angeles Times, a host of U.S. companies now agree with the legendary energy investor.

Frito-Lay North America Inc., Proctor & Gamble Co. and United Parcel Service Inc. are among the companies expanding their natural gas fleets. Trucking companies such as Ryder System Inc. are increasing their number of natural gas vehicles as well, while energy firms are busily building up the infrastructure for natural gas in the U.S.

Home improvement chain Lowe’s Cos. got into natural gas in 2012, initially running natural gas trucks on a few routes in California, Texas and Florida, said Steve Palmer, the company’s vice president of transportation. In October 2013, the company launched its first dedicated natural gas fleet at a distribution center in Mount Vernon, Texas. There are plans underway to switch its trucks to natural gas at all 15 regional distribution centers by 2017.

Why have so many companies switched to natural gas-powered vehicles? It’s simple: price. “Over the last two years, its price at the pump has hovered from $1.50 to $2 per equivalent gallon below the price of diesel, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.”

“You’re at a tipping point now. Natural gas is 75% cheaper than oil. It’s cheap, clean, abundant and domestic,” Pickens said.