View Poll Results: Should commerical vehicles (namely trucks) move towards natural gas?

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  • Yes, whenever the market decides it is time.

    7 36.84%
  • No, it is not optimal.

    2 10.53%
  • Yes, and the government should help incentivize it.

    7 36.84%
  • No, there is a better/more realistic alternative.

    2 10.53%
  • Other: I will explain

    1 5.26%
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Thread: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

  1. #31
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    While there will be a price effect in natural gas, undoubtedly, there would be a quantity effect in crude equal to that of the switch to natural gas. Combined with the income effect gained from the switch, i am more than certain the benefits will far outweigh the costs.
    What income generation are you talking about? Switching from natural gas to crude will lower emissions, but will leave us with another unrenewable fossil fuel we have to import from not so friendly foreign powers.

    But bkhad made an interesting point, although i am calling him on his Jim Cramer reference (if not than i do apologize), natural gas is nothing more than a stepping stone.
    How is natural gas a stepping stone to any other technology? It is almost identical to gasoline in most comparable ways.

    A more efficient technology is in the horizon, but that can be maybe 20-30 years away.
    If EEStor is telling the truth, electric vehicles could become viable sometime this year. Barring that, predictions for nano-wire batteries are about 5 years.

  2. #32
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    What income generation are you talking about? Switching from natural gas to crude will lower emissions, but will leave us with another unrenewable fossil fuel we have to import from not so friendly foreign powers.



    How is natural gas a stepping stone to any other technology? It is almost identical to gasoline in most comparable ways.



    If EEStor is telling the truth, electric vehicles could become viable sometime this year. Barring that, predictions for nano-wire batteries are about 5 years.
    There is an income effect due to the decrease in quantity demanded for crude, as well as the benefits of a ramped up natural gas prospecting/ commercialization of the said resource.
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    "Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911

  3. #33
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    Natural gas is a dead end. Switching to it as a fuel for automobiles would simply result in importing it many of the same countries we current get oil from. Furthermore, it would dramatically jack up heating costs, and prevent it from being used in power plants. The cost of replacing infrastructure and engine technology would be high, and with little to show for it.

    Natural gas would be better used to replace coal power plants as a stop gap measure for a more permanent solution.
    Massively increasing the use of NG will only make it a lot more expensive, and drive up the cost of using it in power plants, plastics manufacturing and other uses, and it will still be inadequate as a long term substitute.

  4. #34
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    Cleaner fuels only look if they are just as good and cheap or cheaper than the regular fuels. Ethanol for example is a crappy alternative considering the amount of land it needs, the land it takes away from food crops and the fact it increases the price of corn. How would converting diesel trucks to natural gas not increase the price or decrease the supply for those who use it to heat their homes, hot water tanks, cook with and etc?
    I wasn't disagreeing with you, and you weren't specifically talking about NG in the post I was responding to, you were saying 'cleaner fuels' as a generalization. What is your disagreement with the argument that there is a price level at which petroleum and it's products will make cleaner fuels a better option? This is in line with your own posts about economical factors, is it not?

    I don't think NG is a viable replacement for truck fuel by a long shot, and never said so. Ethanol also lowers gas mileage, and I also consider it a waste of time and expense.

    For small vehicles, another option is research on two-cycle engines; as for steam, new materials and electronics can probably lead to some alternatives there; NASA is funding some research on them, and a Canadian firm is also developing some interesting spins on them as well.

    Petroleum and NG are far too valuable in the long run to be burning it up merely as a vehicle fuel.
    Last edited by Picaro; 09-13-09 at 12:24 PM.

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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Picaro View Post
    Massively increasing the use of NG will only make it a lot more expensive, and drive up the cost of using it in power plants, plastics manufacturing and other uses, and it will still be inadequate as a long term substitute.
    Ceteris paribus in regards to supply, you would be correct. The massive increase of use is the demand side. Without a doubt, a shift in demand will soon be followed by a shift in supply, meaning the market will adjust as firms begin to put more supply on the market due to NG fetching a better price.

    This transition will take place gradually, and not within a day, week, or month. You are describing a demand shock, highly unlikely....
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    "Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911

  6. #36
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    This transition will take place gradually, and not within a day, week, or month. You are describing a demand shock, highly unlikely....
    We see 'demand shocks' all the time, so I think it would be highly likely; we just went through a 'demand shock' here locally. Speculation creates 'demand shocks' even in goods that are in plentiful supply, and gasoline is still not back to price levels it's supply would warrant. At some point, the costs of changing over reaches a certain critical mass where it will require a big increase in investment for new equipment, delivery systems, etc., i.e. a lot of capital needing to be spent on stuff with high fixed costs and maintenance that will need to see a return. Of course, I don't know what kind of time frame you consider gradual, but I know that most retail outlets would be forced to pick one or the other market, they can't really afford facilities for both, and many don't have the real estate to do both; and chain stores are now the largest retailers, and changing hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of stores over is a huge cost, even for Exxon.
    Last edited by Picaro; 09-13-09 at 01:52 PM.

  7. #37
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Picaro View Post
    We see 'demand shocks' all the time, so I think it would be highly likely; we just went through a 'demand shock' here locally. Speculation creates 'demand shocks' even in goods that are in plentiful supply, and gasoline is still not back to price levels it's supply would warrant.
    You are describing speculation, not demand. If the US suddenly switched to natural gas automobiles, that would create a demand shock. Unlikely....

    At some point, the costs of changing over reaches a certain critical mass where it will require a big increase in investment for new equipment, delivery systems, etc., i.e. a lot of capital needing to be spent on stuff with high fixed costs and maintenance that will need to see a return.
    Economies of scale will persist as the industry grows within the United States.


    Of course, I don't know what kind of time frame you consider gradual, but I know that most retail outlets would be forced to pick one or the other market, they can't really afford facilities for both, and many don't have the real estate to do both; and chain stores are now the largest retailers, and changing hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of stores over is a huge cost, even for Exxon.
    There should be government incentive to allow this industry to flourish. The economies of scale differential between crude products and natural gas will shrink as real demand for natural gas grows.
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    "Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911

  8. #38
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    I'm all for NG I own a couple of wells

  9. #39
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Iíve been called a big producer of methane a time or two.
    The haggardness of poverty is everywhere seen contrasted with the sleekness of wealth, the exhorted labor of some compensating for the idleness of others, wretched hovels by the side of stately colonnades, the rags of indigence blended with the ensigns of opulence; in a word, the most useless profusion in the midst of the most urgent wants.Jean-Baptiste Say

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