Gas Infrastructure Commission Legislation Prompts Worries

By Stephen Barlas, Washington Editor | October 2008 Vol. 63 No. 10

Congress has shown interest in increasing natural gas supplies, both because of its role as a substitute feedstock to petroleum for factories and utilities and from an energy independence perspective – and because of its more favorable greenhouse gas profile. The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming held a hearing the day the bill was introduced on July 31. The two events were apparently unconnected. But testimony that day highlighted potential increased demand for natural gas, from autos, for example. A Honda official was there flogging its Civic GX, the only car sold in the U.S. which uses compressed natural gas. Sales are between 500 1000 vehicles a year. Aubrey McClendon, chairman and CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, the largest independent producer of natural gas in the U.S., was also at the hearing pleading for federal tax incentives to consumers who purchase CNG fueled vehicles.