Washington, D.C. – President Obama today visited a Safeway distribution center in Upper Marlboro, Md., where he called on the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for future trucks and other heavier vehicles by March 2016.
“President Obama has continued to demonstrate his support for the role of natural gas in a clean energy future,” said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO, the American Gas Association. “Two years ago, the President released standards for cars and light-duty trucks that broadened the application of manufacturers’ incentives for vehicles that run on alternative fuels to include natural gas. Natural gas vehicles will play a major role in helping to improve our environment and our national security, and provide real, long-term savings to consumers, and we’re pleased to see his focus on the use of natural gas for the heavy-duty sector.”
On a well-to-wheels basis, natural gas vehicles produce 20 to 30 percent lower emissions at the tailpipe than a similar diesel or gasoline-powered vehicles. They also emit much less particulate matter and volatile organic compounds than gasoline or diesel. Compressed natural gas (CNG) costs about 50 percent less than gasoline, and about 60 percent less than diesel.
“The president highlighted how leaders in every sector of our economy are embracing natural gas because it offers real savings, real stimulus and real solutions. Supporting this evolution, natural gas utilities have contributed to a 60 percent growth in our national CNG refueling infrastructure since 2009,” McCurdy continued.
The American Gas Foundation and IHS CERA recently released a study entitled “Fueling the Future with Natural Gas: Bringing it Home” which found that for Class 8 vehicles such as 18 wheelers, the fuel savings from switching to natural gas is significant enough that the extra upfront cost of approximately $40,000 is recuperated in less than two years. A natural gas passenger vehicle will save you an average of $4,500 in fuel costs over five years compared to a gasoline vehicle according to the same study.