Letters: Diesel vs. Natural Gas, Driver Shortage
These Letters to the Editor appear in the Jan. 21 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.
Diesel vs. Natural Gas
In a story in your Jan. 7 issue noting that diesel consistently costs more than gasoline, [one source] comments that diesel is being phased out as a fuel of choice for much of the transportation sector (“Fuel-Price Spread Near Four-Year High Despite Recent Diesel, Gasoline Changes,” p. 1). This assertion is ludicrous and is in direct conflict with national and international government and private energy forecasting authorities.
The National Academy of Science, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Petroleum Council and the International Energy Agency all released major studies in recent months clearly stating that diesel will remain the dominant energy source for decades to come, if not longer. In its 2040 Outlook, Exxon Mobil found that 70% of the growth in transportation fuels will come from diesel.
There’s no question that natural gas will play an increasing role as a transportation fuel. In fact, Frost & Sullivan predicts natural-gas penetration in the commercial truck fleet could possibly be as high as 8% in 2017.
Diversification of fuels and technologies is in our collective future and our collective interest. But let’s keep the debate honest. Virtually every U.S. and international energy and transportation agency knows diesel will remain the overwhelming transportation energy source beyond 2050.
Diesel Technology Forum
I just read the opinion column by Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, in your Dec. 24&31 issue, and I guess we have to agree to disagree (“Natural Gas: Proceed, But With Caution”).
The writer states that diesel emissions standards have effectively eliminated the advantage natural gas has over diesel as a fuel source, with the exception of CO2. He seems to use diesel standards as if they are going to clean up diesel engines. What about legacy engines and all the units that have their diesel particulate filters disabled for fuel efficiency? What about diesel particulates or mercury?
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