Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Businessweek Archives

Reality Check


Up Front

REALITY CHECK

NATURAL-GAS BOOSTERS SAY the stuff is the fuel of the future. Cleaner-burning than oil, it's prevalent in the U.S. and prices are up more than 100% in two years, making it a domestic drillers' delight. A broad alliance stretching from the Sierra Club to Amoco to the White House is urging the nation's power plants, cars, and trucks to convert to natural gas. One industry group, the Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, aims to push usage to 10%, or some 20 million vehicles, by 2010.

IN REALITY, natural gas faces formidable obstacles. While oil's share of overall U.S. energy demand has declined five points, to 40%, since 1950, two-thirds of that is in transportation. And it's likely to stay there. Easy-to-store and sustained by some 200,000 filling stations, gasoline is a very powerful incumbent against natural gas (700 outlets). Natural-gas-powered vehicles have limited appeal: They require large pressurized fuel tanks and have a top range of only 150 miles or so per tank. And if powerful current trends continue, keeping crude prices low, natural gas' recent success with power plants will dim considerably.EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT AND JULIE TILSNER Peter Burrows


LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus