'America's Natural Gas Highway' Moves Into Drive Position

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'America's Natural Gas Highway' Moves Into Drive Position


SEAL BEACH, Calif. -- Clean Energy Fuels Corp. plans to open 150 liquid natural gas (LNG) fueling stations at Pilot Flying J Travel Centers throughout the United States, according to CNBC.. In what Clean Energy, based here, is calling "America's Natural Gas Highway," the fueling stations are intended to provide a lower-cost, low-carbon American alternative to the diesel fuel that's derived from foreign oil.

Clean Energy received the funding to open the Pilot Flying J fueling stations from Chesapeake Energy Corp., which contributed $150 million to help create the "highway." All 150 fueling stations are expected to be located at interstate highway corridors, such as Interstates 5, 10, 40 and 95.

Andrew Littlefair, Clean Energy's president and CEO, said this move should serve "to quicken the transition to natural gas fuel as a game-changer for heavy-duty trucking."

All 150 stations will be equipped with natural gas fueling stations within two years, according to Littlefair. Savings of $1.50 to $2 per gallon — compared to diesel or gasoline — can be expected. "This is a big day. It's probably the biggest investment in natural gas vehicle infrastructure ever, and so for the very first time, we can see a way to build the infrastructure across the country," Littlefair told Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money."

"We're [currently] buying $1 million a minute [worth] of foreign oil," he added. "Just by having [18-wheel trucks use these natural gas fueling stations], we can cut OPEC dependence in half." According to CNBC, 1,000 natural gas vehicle stations are now open in the United States. Half of those are open to the public.

Clean Energy is the largest provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America.