Saturday, August 2, 2008



The law of supply and demand can benefit the consumer, but it can also serve as one of the many torture instruments available to the market. Such torture is often self-inflicted. Case in point: What if I told you that you could run your automobile on a fuel that costs about $1.25 per gallon, and pump up in your garage? You would be jumping to buy the car that ran on that fuel, right? But wait, what if I told you that the federal government would give you a $1000 tax credit for purchasing said car—and that if you live in California, the state offers a local tax credit of $2000, covering all but $900 of the initial cost of pump installation. You’d jump all over that, right? You’d sing it from the mountain top, right?

Well, the American consumer had that chance and did not take it. Old habits die hard, and now the pain at the pump is the inevitable result. Gasoline is for suckers who were too stupid to take advantage of a fuel with over a hundred year domestic supply, 20% less pollutants, home service capabilities, and unheard-of cost-effectiveness. What fuel am I talking about? Have I gone batty and turned into an environ-mental case? Shouldn’t I just suck it up and pay an average of $4 per gallon for gasoline (If I was European or British, I’d have it even worse with ungodly petrol taxes)?

Before I tell you what fuel I am ranting about, I am going to discuss why the American consumer balked at this golden opportunity. In a nutshell, corporate fleets and government fleets provide the most demand for automobiles and trucks equipped to run on said fuel. Several major automobile companies got their feet wet by making cars and trucks for individuals, but they got soaked because demand was low. In 2004, Ford and Chrysler stopped making vehicles run on said fuel, and GM held out even after sales volume did not justify production (maybe that’s one reason why they tanked in this quarter with a $15.5 billion loss, but that’s another matter). Conversions are still available, but only in India and some European countries. Honda remains one of the few companies making automobiles (one model) running on said fuel available in the U.S.

Back to why Americans lost out…. No-one saw $150-a-barrel oil coming, and they were timid about changing to a different fuel—even though that fuel was 26.9% cheaper in California during early July. Aside from the lack of demand for these cars, there was a general lack of fueling stations—only 1,500 in America for all 150,000 automobiles running on this fuel. But this was not an issue. One can install a pump in one’s home for $900 if he lives in California and for $2,900 in states not offering tax credits. So, essentially, unless you were driving cross country, there was no need to worry about where you would pump up. You would pump up in your garage and wait for the rest of America to catch on. It’s that simple.

But how much of this fuel is available? Would America still be dependent on foreign fuel? Nope. America has a 118-year supply of this fuel, and wildcatters are discovering more every day. The technology is in place. The fuel is domestic, and the fuel is 20% cleaner than gasoline. Sometimes home supply is as cheap as 0.98 cents per gallon!!!

You are just dying to know, right? If you have not already guessed, natural gas is what I am talking about. The zero emission fuels are a bit down the line, but we have just about everything in place for natural gas-run cars-except for the demand and the fueling stations.

T. Boone Pickens thought that it was a no-brainer for Americans to make the switch to natural gas, but he hadn’t counted on Americans inability to change their habits.

As an individual, you can free yourself from the pain at the pump. Do not rely upon the crowd. What follows is some practical advice about conversion to natural gas.
1) Buy/install a Fuel Maker Phill pump for your home.
2) Buy a Honda Civic GX (28 miles a gallon in the city, 39 on the highway).
3) Claim the tax credits for both the pump and vehicle on your federal and state returns. For non-California residents that’s $5,000.
4) If you need a van or truck, shop for the Ford, GM and Chrysler makes equipped to run on natural gas. Fords would be newer since they stopped making them last.
5) If you want a vehicle converted, seek out a reputable CNG conversion mechanic.
6) Take the money you’ll be saving and invest in natural gas.

Remember, gasoline is for suckers. Buy natural gas and make my stocks go up, and save yourselves tons of money!


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