With sales rising nationwide for natural gas-powered vehicles, “Ford is expanding its lineup of vehicles for buyers who want to run on clean natural gas to include its bestseller, the F-150 pickup,” as the USA Today reports today.
The savings and air quality-enhancing benefits associated with compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled vehicles are undeniable. In fact, a recent Progressive Policy Institute study – titled Natural Gas Vehicles: Driving America to a More Prosperous, Secure, and Sustainable Future – determines that “the economic, environmental, and energy security benefits [of CNG] are enormous” for American consumers, businesses and public transit authorities.
Here’s what they’re saying about Ford’s announcement — which follows similar investments from GM and other vehicle manufactures — and how the safe development of American natural gas is positively impacting our environment and our economy:
- “Ford to Sell F-150 Pickup That Runs on Compressed Natural Gas”: With the addition of the F-150, Ford expects to sell about 15,000 CNG vehicles this year, the company said in a statement. “We did this because customers were asking for it,” said Kevin Koswick, Ford’s director of North American fleet sales operations. … “The market for these vehicles really started in 2009 when the invention of horizontal drilling and fracking,” said Robert Stevens, chief engineer for commercial trucks. “That’s when the cost of natural gas and gasoline diverged for the first time.” Natural gas costs range widely from less than $1 to nearly $3 per gasoline-gallon equivalent. … The advantages of natural gas include its cost, and plentiful availability of underground lines around the country to supply the fuel. (Wall Street Journal, 7/31/13)
- “Ford to offer natural gas F-150 for 2014”: Ford soon will offer a natural gas version of its F-150 pickup truck, the most popular vehicle in America. The company is the first Detroit automaker with that option in a light-duty pickup truck. Ford, General Motors and Chrysler already have natural gas-powered heavy-duty trucks. … Ford says natural gas costs the equivalent of $2.11 per gallon. The average regular gasoline price in the U.S. was $3.62 per gallon on Tuesday. (Associated Press, 7/31/13)
- “Ford to offer 2014 F-150 natural gas pickup”: Ford Motor Co. is adding a compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas option to its 2014 F-150 engine lineup. The Dearborn-based automaker said the option will be available this fall for the 3.7-liter V6 engine with a factory-installed, gaseous-fuel prep package that includes hardened valves, valve seats, pistons and rings so it can operate on either natural gas or gasoline through separate fuel systems. “Businesses and fleet customers have been asking Ford to make F-150 available with CNG capability to take advantage of the fuel’s low price and clean emissions,” said Jon Coleman, Ford fleet sustainability and technology manager, in a statement. (MLlive.com, 7/31/13)
- “Ford Taking America’s Best-Selling Truck All ‘Natural’”: On Wednesday, Ford is announcing its flagship truck is taking a step into the alternative fuel world with a vehicle that can run on natural gas. … Compressed Natural Gas, or CNG, is cheaper than petroleum, it emits less carbon dioxide and the U.S. has a whole lot of it. Advocates for natural gas say this is a big step toward using more of it. (NPR, 7/31/13)
- “Ford to offer F-150 that runs on natural gas”: Ford Motor says it will start offering its versions of its best-selling F-150 full-size pickup that can run on liquefied natural gas. The gas can be either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Ford says that the lower cost of natural gas — about the equivalent of $2.11 per gallon of gasoline — means that customers will be able to save money within 24 to 36 months of ownership. … “Businesses and fleet customers have been asking Ford to make F-150 available with CNG capability to take advantage of the fuel’s low price and clean emissions,” said Jon Coleman, Ford fleet sustainability and technology manager. (CNN, 7/31/13)
- “Ford offers more vehicles that run on CNG”: Ford Motor Co. is expanding its offering of vehicles fueled by compressed natural and liquified petroleum gas, adding a special engine as an option on its best-selling F-150 for the 2014 model year. The Dearborn automaker will this fall become the first manufacturer with an available CNG-LPG-capable half-ton pickup truck. “It’s probably our No. 1 request right now,” said Kevin Koswick, director of Ford’s North American Fleet. … Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co. are offering bi-fuel trucks that run on either compressed natural gas or gasoline. … CNG is becoming increasingly popular among fleets in the energy, telecommunications and delivery companies because it costs half as much as regular-grade gasoline and results in 30 percent less greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. EPA. (Detroit News, 7/31/13)
JOBS, MANUFACTURING, ENERGY SECURITY
- MSC member co. Baker Hughes opens $40 million facility in Clinton Co.; Supports 180 Pa. jobs: Baker Hughes held an Open House in their newly constructed Mackeyville facility on Thursday to give the public an opportunity to “see what Baker Hughes has invested into the community, and into you.” … “Hasn’t the gas industry been great for Clinton County?,” Mike Flanagan, Clinton County Economic Partnership President and CEO, said during the commencement. … Currently, the Mackeyville location employs approximately 180 people, and are looking to expand. “Our industry is steadily building -we’re established, and we want to hire as much local talent as possible,” said Phil Urlacher, District Manager at Baker Hughes. … Officials at Baker Hughes all agreed they find community ties with their business one of their strongest assets. “Baker Hughes has a strong foundation by helping support local community,” Urlacher said. “We want to make sure we do our part so we can be there and be of service to the community.” (Lock Haven Express, 7/27/13)
- “Domestic Supply of Natural Gas Should be Robust for Decades to Come”: Less than a decade ago, the conventional wisdom was that the United States would become increasingly dependent on imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Now, thanks to the successful deployment of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing at shale formations throughout the country, the domestic supply of natural gas should be robust for decades to come. (Rigzone, 7/29/13)
- American shale production bolsters U.S. energy security: Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal warned that the Gulf Arab kingdom needed to reduce its reliance on crude oil and diversify its revenues, as rising U.S. shale energy supplies cut global demand for its oil. … His warning reflects growing concern in private among many Saudis about the long-term impact of shale technology, which is allowing the United States and Canada to tap unconventional oil deposits which they could not reach just a few years ago. Some analysts think this may push demand for Saudi oil, as well as global oil prices, down sharply over the next decade. … In a report this month, OPEC forecast demand for its oil in 2014 would average 29.61 million bpd, down 250,000 bpd from 2013. It cited rising non-OPEC supply, especially from the United States. (Reuters, 7/29/13)
- Former EPA Official: “Our Shale Gas Revolution is Currently Providing us a Golden Opportunity”: A smart energy policy focuses on the long-term goals of a cleaner, more secure and economically sound energy future. As the president acknowledged, our shale gas revolution is currently providing us a golden opportunity to immediately advance these goals. … If environmentalists are sincere about tackling climate change, they need to put aside their obsession with renewable sources of energy and embrace solutions already at hand. Putting their support behind greater use of natural gas would be a good place to start. (Battle Creek Enquirer op-ed, 7/28/13)
- Affordable U.S. natural gas supplies a ‘sustainable’ advantage for fertilizer manufacturers: Shares of CF Industries Holdings Inc. jumped nearly 12% on Monday after Third Point LLC, the hedge fund run by activist investor Daniel Loeb, said it held an unspecified stake in the Illinois supplier of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers. … Third Point said it took a position in CF Industries because the company’s access to inexpensive natural gas, a key raw material in the production of fertilizer, provides it with a low cost advantage over global rivals. … Third Point said CF’s access to low-cost North American natural gas gives it “a structural, sustainable” advantage in capturing profit margins “relative to global peers with higher input costs.” (Wall Street Journal, 7/29/13)
- “U.S. Natural-Gas Supplies Boosting Chemical Exports”: The 24 percent increase in U.S. natural-gas output over the past decade is cutting costs for the nation’s chemicals producers, who will boost exports of materials used in everything from paints to plastics to a record in 2013. …. ““This is wonderful because it will ensure there will be more demand and the trade leg is longer,” said Rohit Pattnaik, a Gurgaon, India-based analyst at Drewry Maritime Research, an industry consultant. “The impact of U.S. petrochemicals is going to be significant for the recovery of chemical tankers.” … Cargoes are increasing because natural-gas output in the U.S. rose to 2.48 trillion cubic feet in April, the highest for the time of year on record, Energy Department data show. (Bloomberg, 7/29/13)
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