Natural-gas prices for cars to soar in Utah

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  • cofoxes
    Jan. 21, 2009 12:59 p.m.

    There is no reason to reinvest the price increase in more fueling stations because this rate change will end most all future demand for CNG. Why do we need more stations to fuel what is no longer in demand?

  • Wondering
    Jan. 6, 2009 4:45 p.m.

    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.

  • CNG Truck Owner
    Jan. 6, 2009 1:30 p.m.

    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!

  • When will it end???
    Jan. 6, 2009 1:11 p.m.

    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 Hunstman, help.

  • Public Service?
    Jan. 6, 2009 12:36 a.m.

    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???

  • Utah - WRONG again!
    Jan. 5, 2009 6:40 p.m.

    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"?

  • Joe Bob
    Jan. 5, 2009 1:57 p.m.

    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.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 4, 2009 4:05 p.m.

    The move surprised officials at Questar Gas Co

    Orchard said that the commission issued the rulingfollowing lengthy talks

    So 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.

  • Paul Richins
    Dec. 31, 2008 9:24 a.m.

    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.

  • Was on the Verge
    Dec. 30, 2008 12:23 p.m.

    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 or ???

  • Harold
    Dec. 30, 2008 10:38 a.m.

    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.

  • cng truck owner
    Dec. 28, 2008 6:17 p.m.

    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 mistake PSC.

  • freedml
    Dec. 26, 2008 8:51 a.m.

    Your math/English is wrong. $.80 to $1.43 is an 88% increase, not a 188% increase.

  • small business
    Dec. 25, 2008 7:38 a.m.

    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.

  • justired
    Dec. 24, 2008 8:07 p.m.

    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 months.

  • Stewart
    Dec. 24, 2008 10:50 a.m.

    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.

  • Big Oil
    Dec. 24, 2008 8:40 a.m.

    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!!!

  • 41Cadillac
    Dec. 24, 2008 8:27 a.m.

    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.[2]

    The Thunder Horse platform is owned by BP (75%) and ExxonMobil (25%) and operated by BP.

  • No Incentive
    Dec. 24, 2008 8:19 a.m.

    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.

  • American citizen
    Dec. 24, 2008 7:27 a.m.

    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.

  • Electrification of cars
    Dec. 24, 2008 7:04 a.m.

    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!