By Adam Duvernay
March 19, 2012
Todd Burns, owner Time-It Lube; City of Shreveport
Mayor Cedric Glover; Chesapeake’s Sarie Joubert and
Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator.
Shreveport's first public compressed natural gas pumping station opened Tuesday on Pines Road.
The station, located and built by the Time-It Lube at 6828 Pines Road, makes CNG vehicle fuel available for public use on both sides of the Red River for the first time. Bossier City has two public CNG stations.
The station was fully funded by Time-It Lube in partnership with Chesapeake Energy Corporation, which has committed to fueling its fleet of natural gas vehicles there in addition to the Bossier City stations.
"It's a step, and we each have to take a little step," said Time-It Lube owner Todd Burns. "America is great because we don't need to be taken care of, and we don't need to be dependent on foreign oil."
Burns said the new station represents the desire of all Americans seeking cheaper fuel and more sovereign energy policy. Public access to CNG and the infrastructure related to that can lead to those goals, he said. The opening was attended by many local public officials who praised the station and future CNG stations as an appropriate and exciting use of a resource readily available to the community.
"Without question this is a great day for Shreveport and a great day for northwest Louisiana," said Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover. "Our challenge as a country is to unleash the genius and ingenuity that allows us to get there."
Glover touted the city's 14 SporTran buses and 16 garbage compactors which run on CNG as a promise of progress. Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator also praised his office's 13 CNG vehicles as a step in the right direction. Chesapeake's Director of Corporate Development Paul Pratt said the private partnership between Time-It Lube and his company could serve as a template for other companies and cities to take advantage of the increasingly popular fuel source.
"Louisiana is setting a strong example to the nation on how to develop a CNG infrastructure network to serve the public and fleet operations," Pratt said. "As gasoline prices continue to rise, the economic benefits of CNG will become even more pronounced. Today, CNG is $1.75 a gasoline gallon equivalent — a fuel price level we haven't seen in America for many years."
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported U.S. natural gas vehicle fuel consumption in 2011 reached almost 32.9 billion cubic feet. Consumption has increased every year since the EIA began recording in 1997. Americans consumed almost 2.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas vehicle fuel in December, according to the EIA.
Louisiana used 14 million cubic feet of natural gas vehicle fuel last year, the most since 2008. Louisiana natural gas vehicle fuel consumption was at its highest in 2004 when the state consumed 133 million cubic feet.
In 2011, the Honda Civic Natural Gas was the only dedicated consumer natural gas vehicle available in the United States. Ford, Chevy and Chrysler all plan to release CNG trucks this year.
This article was first published by Shreveport Times on March 19, 2012.