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CNG Honda gets a 'greenest' rating

I always have liked the idea of CNG for automobiles (even though the status of our supply gets disputed daily it seems). One of the rating councils gives a Honda CNG car its ‘greenest’ rating for 2011 (story is on Yahoo). Volt came in 12th, Leaf 2nd no diesels mentioned (in a good way that is). The ratings did take into account things like energy to make and dispose of the car and energy expended to get the fuel.MPG while running the gas engine hurt the Volts rating. It is good that these ratings are taking more into consideration than just mpg.

I don’t know much about CNG but I agree that it’s good that ways are evolving to consider more than just gas mileage. I think hybrids sort of made this necessary.

I think the biggest hurdles any alternative fuel vehicle is going to have to surmount will be initial cost and lack of infrastructure. Persoanlly, I’ve long thought that EVs would ultimately conquer the alternatives market, but as with other technologies an infrastructure is needed. Tesla has shown the viability of EVs for daily use, having produced an EV with range suffficient to meet the overwhelming majority of the drivers’ needs, and having done it in a classy package, but the up-front cost still needs to come down.

The Tesla could sell on their looks alone if the price came down. The Tesla S is a beautiful design in a 4-door package. I could see one in my driveway but the price is way too high right now. My wife likes the 2-door model. Price sells cars.

There is an immense supply of natural gas under the Appalachian mountains. The only supply problem is fueling stations. I suppose that you could have a fueling station set up at home if you have natural gas service. That would make CNG viable for commuting, but still doesn’t solve the problem of driving long distances.

Some 12 or 15 years ago, the state university where I teach converted some Ford Taurus autombiles in the fleet to run on either CNG or gasoline. A fueling station was installed. The program only ran about 6 months–it seems to me that the cost of operating the cars on CNG didn’t yield any savings, but I will have to check to see what actually happened.

When we were talking about the “Pickens Plan” last year some did claim that natural gas reserves had some difficulity of recovery attached to them but on the other hand I read we sit on a tremendous amount of natural gas. Is conflicting information an indication of people pushing plans based on factors other than what is best for the country?

As I remember the Pickens Plan it was a combination of wind and natural gas, with one energy source a bridge until the other was better developed, or were they to run side by side?

I Could Possibly See CNG Used For Transportation.

Oldschool, my concern is that unitended consequences always enter into these “green” schemes.

My normal energy consumption:
I use gasoline in my car.
I use electricity to light my home, run appliances, etcetera.
I Use Natural Gas to heat my home (6-8 months / year) and heat my water.

It concerns me when we start talking about changing the primary distribution of these energy sources. I don’t want to run short or have the cost rise too much for natural gas or electricity because we decide to funnel them to transportation. Are we ready for a bunch of EV cars ? Natural gas cars ?

Corn is going into gasoline and already is having a negative impact of food supplies and prices. High-fructose corn syrup is used in many, many foods, for instance.

Unintended consequences have a way of rearing their ugly heads when we talk about rearranging the distribution of energy, sometimes almost unforseen until later. I’d want assurance that using CNG for more and more transportation doesn’t negatively impact other energy dependent applications.

There are always other considerations besides the most obvious ones, like MPG in cars.


Are you practicing for the “strawman” convention? Using the debacle of the “corn for ethanol” program to demonstrate that all alternative fuel plans are BOGUS is just that, using a strawman.

Nope, I’m Just Being A Little Skeptical Of Plans To “Green” Us Up. We’re Entering Uncharted Waters. I’m All In Favor Of Alternate Plans That Work, But I Know Too Well That One Can Jump Out Of The Frying Pan And Into The Fire.

You invited a discussion and that’s what I’m attempting.
"Are you practicing for the “strawman” convention? Using the debacle of the “corn for ethanol” program to demonstrate that all alternative fuel plans are BOGUS is just that, using a strawman."

Strawman Convention ? What ?

I certainly hope for our sake that not all alternative fuel plans prove to be bogus. They all need to be looked at. I was only using the corn / ethanol program to illustrate the need to watch out for unintended consequences before leaping into something. None of us need higher food prices, especially at this time. I know I don’t want higher home energy costs, either. I am considering geothermal using my flowing well.

I have been using CFL bulbs for years and years and saving energy and money. I was using them before they were available in stores and before most people had heard of them. I’m not against alternatives. I’m looking at LEDs now.

You honestly do not know what a “strawman” is. The use of a strawman is another classical logical fallacy. When you use a strawman you attack either the weakest point the person you are having the discussion with or you even make up a point to attack (as you did here) and declare that you have proved your point.

Oldschool, I Know What A Strawman Is, But What I Don’t Understand Is Why You’re Attacking My Opinions With Such Vigor.

The first thing I said was “I Could Possibly See CNG Used For Transportation.” I never said nor intended to " . . . demonstrate that all alternative fuel plans are BOGUS . . . " as you say I’m doing.

I’m trying to discuss and add to your statements. Honestly, if you don’t want opinions then don’t ask for them by posting a discussion question / statement.


Implying the same problems with the"corn to enhanol" debacle can happen with a shift to CNG and that a shift to CNG should not be made because of what happened in the corn to ethanol program does not add to my statements, it detracts from them. The problems with corn to ethanol should not cause people to stop looking for ways to provide energy to the US from an “in house” source.

Using the problems created with corn to ethanol as a reason not to more fully explore a shift to CNG is an argument based upon the use of a strawman.

I actuality my post was to simply report on what this one paticular agency labled as “greenest car”. It was not necessairly intended to promote widespread use of CNG but I do see a lot of postive things attached to the use of CNG.

In short, one should not link the problems with corn to ethanol with a shift to CNG, doing so would link the very worst in alternative fuels with what may turn out to be the very best, and the actual answer to making America “less dependant” on oil from sources hostile towards the US.

Corn is going into gasoline and already is having a negative impact of food supplies and prices. High-fructose corn syrup is used in many, many foods, for instance.

HFCS is a consequence of US sugar pricing, designed to make domestic sugar cane farming viable and/or punish Cuba. If we were willing to buy sugar at the price Cuba was willing to sell it to us, HFCS would be a non-issue.

I think CNG is a great idea–the infrastructure is (almost) already there. Basically every occupied building has gas lines running to it already (granted, in the NE, where it’s cold and electrons are pricey.) Just a matter of (1) running it from the gas station’s furnace to the pump, and (2) compressing it some more.

Given the vast reserves of natural gas in my home state, I think it’s a shame PA isn’t doing more to promote such an infrastucture and/or requiring “dual-fuel” cars for gov’t purchase.

CNG cars have lots of potential, but as soon as the great new resources were found in shale, folks started creating problems. A recent ‘documentary’ (actually a hatchet job) gave several crackpots the chance to vent their problems that they claimed resulted from fracture jobs on the shale gas wells. Only problem: their claims have been repeatedly proven wrong.

Our national energy policy is being shaped by crackpots.

The Pickens Plan had several major components:

  1. Use CNG to power vehicles
  2. Free up CNG for transportation by switching electrical power generation from natural gas to wind
  3. Line T. Boone Pickens’ pockets, as he was heavily invested in natural gas and wind power…