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Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Boxer’

Clean Energy to Run CNG Fuel Stations for AT&T

Applications growing for natural gas as an alternative fuel.

by on Mar.31, 2010

CNG seems best suited for fleets rather than individual consumer use.

AT&T’s plans to spend $350 million to purchase compressed natural gas vehicles moved forward today as Clean Energy Fuels Corporation (Nasdaq: CLNE) said it would build and run the CNG fueling stations required.

At 8,000 vehicles, this is the largest corporate commitment to CNG vehicles to date in the U.S., and is part of a $565 million, long-term strategy at AT&T to deploy more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles by 2019.

“AT&T’s commitment to alternative-fuel vehicles reflects our long-term goal to minimize dependence on imported sources of fuel and explore new automotive technologies,” said Charlene Lake, AT&T chief sustainability officer.

Last year at the start of the program, AT&T purchased 600 Ford E-Series vans converted CNG fuel from Dallas-based BAF Technologies, which is owned by Clean Energy. The CNG vehicles will be used to provide and maintain communications services for AT&T customers.

Proponents of CNG claim that the fuel results in lower emissions since natural gas contains less carbon than any other fossil fuel, and, therefore, produces lower CO2 emissions per vehicle mile traveled.

However, natural gas contains  methane, another principal greenhouse gas. Methane traps more than 20 times as much heat as carbon and accelerates climate change. Proponents claim that the increase in methane emissions from the use of natural gas is offset by a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions compared to other fuels.   (more…)

Boxer Blasts Diesel Use at Senate Hearing

Democrats and Republicans appear to favor natural gas?

by on Mar.26, 2010

Diesel exhaust gases contain more than 40 cancer-causing substances.

Harsh things were said about the damaging health effects created by the burning of diesel fuel at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee meeting this week.

The comments of Barbara Boxer, chairman (D-CA), against diesel, and differing observations of the ranking member, James Inhofe (R-OK), favoring natural gas appear to be the beginning of a renewed push for expanded use of this relatively clean fuel  in some transportation applications.

The Environment and Public Works Committee’s is looking at ways to use the next surface transportation bill to improve our nation’s energy security and the environment. Its jurisdiction includes responsibility for addressing global warming, and it has responsibility for legislation related to transportation systems.

Leaving politics aside, at stake is U.S. energy independence, as well as how your tax dollars are used to subsidize types of energy use.

“Making our transportation system more efficient and reducing oil consumption can help to make our country less dependent on countries that don’t like us. Our transportation system’s reliance on fossil fuels also contributes significantly to air pollution that is harmful to public health and the environment,” said Boxer in her opening remarks.

Heavy-duty trucks and buses, and non-road sources make up 42% of all transportation related greenhouse gas emissions.

Roughly, two thirds of all the oil consumed in this country is used for transportation. Heavy-duty trucks and buses, and non-road sources make up 42% of all transportation greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Significant growth in these areas is predicted.

Moreover, the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. imported 59% of its oil, or 322 million barrels in February 2010, sending about $25 billion, – or more than $600,000 a minute – to foreign countries. Since January 2009, the U.S. has imported more than five billion barrels of oil as our politicians postured about energy independence. This debate, of course,  goes all the way back to the Carter Administration. (Click here for the sorry record our alleged “leaders” have compiled on energy security and independence.)

“Diesel exhaust contributes to asthma attacks, bronchitis and other respiratory illness, heart disease, permanent harm to the lungs of children and cancer. In fact, diesel exhaust contains more than 40 cancer-causing substances, according to the California Air Resources Board,” Boxer added.

Inhofe took a different, but potentially complimentary tack – if you can believe that Republicans will work with Democrats on anything, and vice versa, for the common good, as opposed to partisan political gain.

“One innovative way to achieve that goal (energy independence) is through greater use of natural gas-powered vehicles,” Inhofe said, replying to Boxer.

“In 2008, when gasoline prices were above $4 per gallon, I was the first in Congress to introduce a comprehensive bill to promote the use of natural gas as a realistic alternative for the many Americans who were looking for price relief,” Inhofe said, not without self interest. “The bill I introduced was called the “Drive America on Natural Gas Act.”

Watching Your Tax Dollars!

What strikes me here is the seeming public agreement of Boxer – a fanatical global warming proponent, “one of the greatest challenges of our generation” – and Inhofe – a fanatical global warming opponent, “greatest hoax ever perpetuated on the American people” – over the benefits of natural gas. (more…)