Would you pay $2.14 for a gallon of gas?
I know I would. According to AAA, the nationwide average for a gallon of gasoline is $3.80... Diesel is even more expensive at $4.06.
Yet despite high fuel costs across the country, a select group of drivers are paying only $2.14 a gallon... more than $1.50 below the national average.
What's the catch?
To be honest, there isn't one. These drivers aren't getting some "special deal," and this isn't some publicity stunt that's only available to a select few. They're simply filling up their tanks with a different kind of transportation fuel.
During the past decade, new technologies like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have unlocked waves of natural gas reserves that were previously thought inaccessible. As a result, gas prices have plummeted to below $3 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf)... well below the 10-year high of $10.79 hit in 2008.
With natural gas prices hovering near record lows, companies across the board are looking for ways to take advantage of the new cheap energy source... and who better to benefit than the transportation industry?
All over the nation, companies with heavy transportation costs are introducing vehicles that run off natural gas into their regular operations. Just last year, UPS added 48 trucks that run off natural gas to its shipping fleet, which brings the total number of vehicles in its fleet running on natural gas to 1,100.
Right now, the compressed natural gas (CNG) equivalent to a gallon of gasoline costs on average $2.14. With over 110,000 natural-gas vehicles already diving on U.S. roads -- and CNG prices roughly $1.50 per gallon cheaper than gasoline -- the number of CNG vehicles on the road is going nowhere but up.
But while there's ample incentive for truck owners to switch from diesel to CNG, there's still one big obstacle: lack of infrastructure.
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