The spark that ignited it all started a bit like this: “The potential for natural gas is enormous,” Obama said. “Last year, more than 150 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle produced legislation providing incentives to use clean-burning natural gas in our vehicles instead of oil. And - and that’s a big deal.”
The big deal started with an idea of T. Boone Pickens, who for the past three years has been the most fervent advocate of the implementation of natural gas. And for good reason: Pickens is the largest shareholder in Clean Energy Fuels, a huge operator of 200 natural gas refueling stations and who, through Clean Energy, also owns BAF Technologies, one of the main companies specializing in converting cars to run on natural gas.
Since three years ago, the bill backed by Pickens has come to be known as the NAT GAS Act. It calls for subsidies in supporting the purchase of natural gas trucks instead of diesel ones, and at the same time calls for federal tax credits for natural gas refueling stations.
President Obama, during the speech that caused a vivid reaction soon after, called on the Congress to “keep at it, pass a bill that helps us achieve the goal of extracting natural gas in a safe, environmentally sound way.”
Naturally, the US natural gas vehicle industry association, the NGVAmerica, is delighted with the boost the bill got from the President himself. In their view, the huge domestic resources are enough to put a serious dent in the dependence on foreign oil.
At the opposite pole, the Diesel Technology Forum says most of the technologies needed for the bill to be put into practice are
“in developmental stages or won't be functional for many years.” They say diesel is the driving force of the world in terms of efficiency, thus it “can and must be part of our current and future national energy strategy.”
The NAT GAS Act will be introduced in the current Congress on April 6. Pickens is confident the bill will pass. Especially since he spent all that money backing it.
“This is all going to be done; I’m not kidding you. I have committed my time and my own money to it. I spent $82 million out of my pocket on this plan,” Pickens said according to baylorlariat.com. “We’re going to get it done because it has to be done for the country. If we go forward without an energy plan from here it’ll be a disaster.”
Full details about the Pickens plan that cost all that money can be found at the following link.