SEARCH BLOG: ENERGY
A couple of articles caught my eye this weekend as I read Barron's [August 31 print version].
First was an article about gasoline consumption [p.23 ... abbreviated online version here]. As noted in the article,
"U.S. gasoline consumption fell more than 7% from its 2007 peak in the first quarter, before rebounding slightly in the second. Yes, that in part reflects the effects of the punishing economic downturn. But the sliump actually has maked the beginning of a profound, long-term shift that will affect oil and auto stocks for years. Thanks to a confluence of factors - a legislative push to wean the nation of foreign oil, an end to very cheap fuel, a global rush toward fuel-efficient cars, fewer people driving to work and more citizens becoming concerned about the environment - U.S. gasoline consumption might never surpass the high of the summer of 2007, when we guzzled 400 million gallons a day."The article continued to relate how pricing of oil will remain high... "$3 or more might be the new norm"... and how consumers are "having second and third talks about buying that huge all-wheel-drive Toyota Sequoia[!]." Most of the rest of the article was about the impact on refiners [this is a publication about investing after all].
Farther into the newspaper was another article speculating about the various various natural gas related funds and companies making devices for the natural gas market [page 33 ... abbreviated online version here].
"The plan is to offer tax credits worth up to $12,500 on the purchase of new cars and trucks. The catch is that your new vehicle must run on natural gas -- compressed natural gas, or CNG, to be precise. A Senate bill, the counterpart to the House's NAT GAS Act, also would offer up to $64,000 in tax credits on fleet vehicles, and up to $100,000 to anyone opening a CNG filling station."
The article went on to state that, "Washington is beginning to wake up to the value of using this plentiful, home-grown fuel for transportation - and that in turn could open up some intriguing investment opportunities."
It looks as if someone at Barron's has been reading this blog:
May 31, 2009I also wrote that if the EPA gave each non-petroleum fueled vehicle an arbitrary rating of 150 mpg that the standard might be met with a full push toward compressed natural gas powered vehicles (CNG). There is precedent within the ....May 28, 2009So, if the vehicle runs on hydrogen fuel cells or natural gas or propane or just plugs into the wall, they get the manufacturer a credit of 150 mpg per vehicle against the mandated 30 mpg in 2016, 35 mpg in 2020, 40 mpg in 2025, ....