Friday, September 19, 2014

The Wrong Direction: Compressed Natural Gas Public Fueling Stations

Governor Corbett (PA) is celebrating the opening of a new "clean-burning" CNG public fueling station in Philadelphia.  "Clean-burning" is a total lie because the process of getting the fossil fuel out of the ground is a very dirty, polluting process.  Fracking is not the only, or even the most worrying, part of the whole industry.  The infrastructure needed, the pipelines, the impoundments, the trains, the quarries, the silica sands, to name a few, and the leaks on well pads, the surface contamination, the explosions, all these things are a very real threat to our environment.  To make the use of natural gas the up and coming trend for our vehicles, busses, trucks, is insanity.  So Governor Corbett is really leading his state into a terrible mess which will be expensive and ultimately ill-advised.  State tax dollars are funding this. 

Gas companies have harvested too much natural gas and love this idea of making natural gas more needed domestically.  But there is a lot of exportation of gas, too, since foreign countries pay so much more for it.  Why are we exporting natural gas?  The idea of energy independence as the reason for drilling is questionable, given the rate of exportation.
Governor Corbett Opens New Clean-Burning Natural Gas Fueling Station in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA -- Governor Tom Corbett today joined officials from VNG Co. to announce the opening of a new compressed natural gas (CNG) public fueling station in Philadelphia to support the widespread use of natural gas vehicles in the region.
“Pennsylvania has the second-largest energy field in the world, and cities from Pittsburgh to Williamsport to Towanda to Philadelphia are benefiting from our game-changing energy resources,” Gov. Corbett said. “The convenience of a local CNG fueling station makes it possible for local governments, organizations, companies and residents to make the switch to this cleaner and affordable alternative fuel. By harnessing natural gas, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality and putting Pennsylvania at the forefront of American energy independence.”
The VNG public fueling station was constructed in-part with a $253,752 Alternative and Clean Energy (ACE) grant and $169,150 ACE loan from Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) which is administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). VNG provided matching funds of more than $422,000. The CFA approved the funding at its public board meeting on September 17, 2013.
The ACE Program provides financial assistance in the form of grants and loan funds that will be used by eligible applicants for the usage, development and construction of alternative and clean energy projects in the state, including CNG and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) filling stations.
The company also received Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG) awards totaling nearly $270,000 from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), to support the purchase of 35 natural gas vehicles by its partners at Comcast, Aqua America, H.B. Electric Services, and the Safelite Group, to be fueled at the station. AFIG grants are an annual solicitation, administered by DEP, providing financial incentive for a variety of transportation projects with the result of reducing air emissions in Pennsylvania.
Governor Corbett was joined today by DEP Secretary Christopher E. Abruzzo, along with Philadelphia Gas Works CEO Craig White.
In 2013, Pennsylvania became the second-largest natural gas producing state in the nation.  The abundance of low-cost natural gas has driven electric and natural gas prices down nearly 40 percent since 2008, saving the average Pennsylvania resident nearly $1,200 annually in lower energy costs. After importing 75 percent of its natural gas just five years ago, Pennsylvania has become a net exporter of gas for the first time in more than 100 years.

To learn more about the Natural Gas Vehicle grant program, visit, Keyword: AFIG.

To learn more about the ACE program, visit

Read the announcement here.

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