President Barack Obama used his State of the Union Address this year to press Congress to support construction of natural-gas fueling stations. With that kind of high-level attention, it might seem the U.S. is on the brink of a natural-gas vehicle explosion.
Well, yes and no.
Forecasts for natural gas vehicles call for a sharp rise in coming decades, shown in the graph above, especially for heavy vehicles like shipping trucks. However, gas will remain just a 4-percent sliver of the total market for transportation fuels by 2040, according to estimates by the U.S. Energy Information Agency.
Natural-gas vehicles may actually be worse for climate change than diesel, according to a study last week in the journal Science. While gas cars run cleaner, methane leaks from fracking outweigh the CO2 savings from the tailpipe.
More from the report:
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