Published: Wednesday, Dec. 24 2008 12:00 a.m. MST
As T. Boone Pickens and others promote the idea of natural gas to fuel our cars,
it made financial sense when natural gas was substantially less than regular
gasoline. The problem is that it too is a non-renewable fossil fuel that is
controlled by monopolies (in our case, Questar Gas) and as it is consumed, it is
likely to become more expensive into the future. With these proposed increases
for natural gas, the price will now be comparable to gasoline, though with OPEC
and other national governments working to constrict the flow of oil globally,
regular gasoline prices are destined to rise as well. The reason
"plug in" hybrids and electric cars should be our future is that electricity can
be generated WITHOUT a local or international monopoly that will unduly
manipulate prices via solar panels. In Silicon Valley, plug-in cars are already
juicing up under solar paneled car ports with "free" energy from the sun at
Google and other experimental projects, and while solar panels are still cost
prohibitive for most, in time they'll become more cost effective and free us
from energy monopolies that do just what Questar is doing to us in Utah today!
No one should get a subsidy. However, CNG cars burn much cleaner and pollute
far less than gasoline cars. That's why their exact same engines as gasoline
cars last twice as long. Air quality is an expensive problem on the
Wasatch Front. CNG car drivers should have a financial incentive because of
their much cleaner exhaust. That is a government regulation responsibility for
clean air, not Questar's.
That sure makes me want to switch to CNG. Just when a lot of us are considering
switching over to CNG they jack the price up so high, that there is no benefit
to spend the money to switch over. I guess the good thing is they raised the
price before a lot of us changed over. CNG is cleaner but they can keep it.
The news sourses say over 50% of electricity is generated from coal. Coal will
always be a major sourse of energy. No matter whet men say or do. Coal and oil
and gas are and will be the major sourse of energy for years and years to come.
Thunder Horse is the largest moored semi-submersible oil platform in
the world, about 150 (241 km) southeast of New Orleans, Louisiana in the Gulf
of Mexico.Construction costs were around one billion USD. The facility is expected to operate for 25 years, producing about one billion
barrels of oil. At its peak, it is expected to process 200 million cubic feet of
natural gas and 250,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The Thunder Horse platform is owned by BP (75%) and ExxonMobil (25%) and
operated by BP.
With regular gas selling for $1.35 a gallon, I'd say they just killed the
fledgling natural gas conversion business in Utah. Great Job!!!
Just wondering, is the same road tax applied to CNG as gasoline and diesel? I
think it is about $.042 per gallon. It looks to me like a new way of paying for
roads will be needed as plug-ins and other vehicles that use very little
gasoline or diesel begin to take up more and more of the road and pay less and
less of the tax.
i'm glad i waited to change my vehicle over to CNG. i checked surrounding
states, in fact clear across the country to see what i would encounter on a
cross-country trip.utah's CNG rate was by far the lowest i found.
we were an anomally. so now it's gone, and as a previous commenter said,
goodbye to our fledgling CNG conversion industry!but wait a minute,
how long will gasoline remain at the current low level? probably not long
enough for the average driver to recoup what was extorted from him the past few
I own a small service tech business and just like the ole saying the rich get
richer and the working guy gets slammed to make the fat guys get fatter.I
purchased a couple of Vans so that I could try to break even on some costs this
state going ta hell in a hand basket.
Your math/English is wrong. $.80 to $1.43 is an 88% increase, not a 188%
I purchased a used F-150 in May. I paid $10,000 more than a comparable gasoline
model. It made great sense then. I was disappointed that the value of the
truck dropped more than half when gasoline prices came down. I thought I could
recover over time with the price of CNG at 80 cents. I am even more
disappointed in a PSC that did not serve the public interest by allowing the
price of CNG to rise to that of gasoline. I am now DEPENDANT again on foreign
oil, I have lost my investment in my vehicle, I must go back to polluting using
gasoline and the financial incentive to use clean fuel is GONE! This is a BIG
I purchased a CNG Crown Vic back in May, I have put over 13000 miles on it since
then, and have loved the car. I traded in a car that I loved for a sensible
cheap natural gas car. Now I have a car that will cost as much or possibly more
than an equivalent gas car, my range is under 300 miles, and the only thing
going for me is the tax credit I got when I bought this car. The PSC should buy
back all of these cars as a penalty for this.
Trust government to mess up a good thing! I have been looking hard to find a
good deal on a CNG vehicle, and now I don't think it's worth it! Sure gas will
go up, but the feeling I'm getting here is that these PSC and other state
bureaucrats will make sure there's no good deal here for the little guy. If they
don't raise the rates further for Questar they will probably add more taxes!
Just because of the clean air issue alone they should be working to add
incentive for more people to use clean burning CNG - but as typical, with their
heads in a dark place, they do just the opposite of what makes sense! Therefore
I don't trust them enough to bother with converting to CNG, that would just be
another good deed that could not go unpunished! So is this increase a done deal
With this dramatic increase the PSC has broken trust with the Utah public, with
consequences to be paid for many years. CNG buyers now KNOW that the PCS is no
longer following the low-price model that caused Utah to have the nation's best
CNG infrastructure and strongest demand for all things CNG. That CNG will be
$1.43 in July is annoying given the current price of gas. But even if gas was
still $4.00 this action tells consumers that CNG could be $3.00 or $5.00 or any
other price the PSC wants it to be in the years to come. Utah's CNG auto buyers
have accepted the significant inconviences of having a CNG vehicle primarily
because of the knowledge that Utah's CHG prices were low and would stay low. By
breaking that trust, the PSC has taken thousands of potential CNG buyers out of
the market. Given the fact that this action will kill what would have been
stong increases in CNG demand, why would providers now risk infrastructure
improvements? Sales of home compressor units will undoubtedly increase so it is
quite likely that demand for CNG filling stations will actually drop, a
situation unimaginable prior to this action.
The move surprised officials at Questar Gas CoOrchard said that the
commission issued the rulingfollowing lengthy talksSo which was it-a
hasty move that caught Questar officials off guard, or a considered, thoughtful
discussion involving all intersted parties? I don't believe it was the latter!
CNG was the darling, now it's the ugly step-child. Sad.
Even the former moron major of Salt Lake says that this is supid. Now that's
saying something! Dumb and Dumber. What to go crooked PSC.
The whole world is waking up to the need for clean fuel,less pollution and
greener vehicles - so what does Utah do? Just another step backward for a
backward-thinking bunch of state politicians. Observant people have all known
for quite some time that the PSC is really just an arm of the utlities. What
price do residential customers pay for CNG? THAT is the price that CNG vehicle
owners should pay - it's the same gas!! Why can't ANY Utah politicians "do the
right thing" instead of being owned by the corporate interests - where is the
often proclaimed "moral judgement"?
It seems to me that Julie Orchard, Michele Beck and others are not serving the
Utah public by hiking CNG rates so quickly. It will kill off any incentive CNG
had to offset the expense of a car conversion. At the same time, Utah's
population continues to grow - we are destined for Los Angelas bad air days all
year round. I recently purchased a bi-fuel CNG car, but if the price of CNG is
closer to gasoline, I might as well go with the more available and convenience
(bigger tank) of gasoline unless I happen to be driving by a CNG station. It
would be a hop off of I-15 for me, but if the cost differential isn't there, why
bother to pull over for CNG. I think this will kill CNG for Utah unless
gasoline goes back to $4.00 (which I doubt it will as long as the economy is in
the dumps). Wasn't governor Huntsman promoting CNG cars awhile back?. Well,
convincing people now will be next to impossible. I wonder how much Questar
stock Julie Orchard's family owns???
I bought my CNG Cavalier for 3 reasons: 1. Save money so I can spend it on other
American commodities, 2. Keep fuel money in the USA, 3. Go Green for the
environment and avoid inversions. Where will they (PSC) stop? Just a little here
and little there, some more next year? Stop the insanity! Please Governor
I got so mad since my last posting I fired an email off to the PSC. No
response. I don't think they realize how many people they have hurt with this
rate increase. Do the math. If a CNG car costs around $10,000 more to buy than
a gasoline car, how many years will it take for the consumer to recover his
investment even if the difference in fuel costs are 80 Cents vs. $4.00? The
answer: At 18 MPG and 1500 miles per month is 38 months. With the CNG price the
same as gasoline, there is no way to recover the cost. By the time the price of
gasoline goes to $4.00 again, the CNG vehicle is worn out. This is a classic
case of TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. When-and-where were the public
hearings? Did the CNG community get a chance to even present their case?
Aren't natural resources owned by the public? Was not the infrastructure
(compressors, pumps etc.) built using federal excise tax incentives of up to 50
Cents per equivalent gallon? Correct me if I am wrong, but I am not sure
Questar has bourne the whole cost of infrastructure. I cry foul!
Wasn't Questar's request for a price hike rejected awhile ago? So this they
(PSC) did on their own? I see Questar has no requirement as to what to do with
the money. I would be grateful if they could improve the quality and quantity of
their filling stations. My new Honda GX is only about a month old. I really did
buy it for the cheap gas. I drive 110 miles a day. But I must admit I have been
won over by the low carbon footprint. I know helping the environment is a
good reason and it should be enough of a reason. But, it is not for a lot a
people. I was hoping the cost incentives would linger and help things to
change.When people are trying to change, but they see that the costs are
the same or higher, most will not change. But we really do need a change.
Lately, within two days after a storm the smog like air is in the valley. That
is only going to get worse.
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