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  1. Categories: Environment

    Canada’s Closing Window

    At a recent meeting in Yellowknife of leaders of energy rich provinces, our Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, said the economic opportunities that exist in this country would not last forever. Though our resources may be abundant, our technology, business and trade relationships, and achieving a world-class reputation for environmentally sound development are time sensitive. He stated that we must take immediate action to get Canada’s oil and natural gas to market, instead of the dithering and second-guessing that has dominated our political and business environments.

    “The challenge for Canada is to open up to foreign markets and supply what the world needs,” he said. “We have a choice: to proceed or procrastinate.”

    All this indecision is in the face of a natural gas development bonanza south of the border. According to a recent study, the American natural gas boom in 2012 supported 2.1 million jobs, added $283 billion to GDP and $75 billion to state and government coffers. The economic stimulus increased the income of the average U.S. household by $1,200. They’ve realized that natural gas creates opportunity. These figures indicate a noticeable lift in U.S. economic circumstances – and not a moment too soon.

    Increasing affluence and industrialization of emerging markets like China, India and Brazil requires enormous amounts of energy. Simply put, they will want what we take for granted – the ability to drive cars, turn on lights and maintain a comfortable temperature in their homes. World demand will increase for energy and so will its price.

    How we marshal such a clean, affordable and reliable energy source like natural gas is the key to our future. It’s an opportunity we can’t afford to pass up.

    Let us know your thoughts in the comments section supplied below.



  2. Categories: Environment

    Stars Align as Business Turns to Natural Gas

    In order for certain trends to occur, they require a certain confluence of factors. For example, technological viability is nothing without the will to use it. And on that count, the tides have certainly been changing for natural gas.

    That’s why Shakespeare, Ontario’s Faromor Ltd., a manufacturer of industrial-grade ventilation systems, has installed a compressed natural gas (CNG) refuelling system for its own vehicle fleet. The station taps into the local natural gas line and stores natural gas in above-ground tanks, ready for use.

    The 35-year-old company has become a recognized leader in ventilation systems built specifically for livestock and poultry housing, but lately has also been designing and constructing natural gas refuelling stations. Obviously, it sees a future in this nascent business, and is willing to put its money where its mouth is.

    And though this technology isn’t new, many feel it’s time for natural gas infrastructure in Ontario. Discoveries of new reserves, and subsequent lower prices, have made the price of this clean, affordable and reliable energy (30 cents per litre, versus about $1.30 for diesel) a progressively more viable option.

    “Essentially you’re getting close to a $1 per litre cost saving,” Gary Blenkhorn, president of Faromor Energy Systems, explains. “[Our] drivers haven’t found any difference in highway driving.”

    It’s also been suggested that Perth County, Ontario might be a future customer for the fuel, given the costs of operating its vehicle fleet – in particular, the ambulance service.

    What do you feel about Ontario embracing its natural gas future? Let us know in the comments section provided below.

  3. Categories: Sustainability
    Natural Gas Ford 2014 F-150

    Natural Gas Now Fuels Ford F-150

    Natural gas has taken a giant leap forward with Ford Motor Company’s announcement that they will provide a natural gas engine for their flagship F-150 pick-up truck.

    Though a natural gas vehicle is already available to the consumer market (the Honda Civic), it’s ill suited to heavy-duty work. Other makes and models of natural gas trucks have been available, though they are typically heavier models, and available in limited quantities to commercial operations. This announcement heralds a new era in consumer perception of natural gas as a viable mass-market fuel alternative to diesel or gasoline.

    It is believed the biggest opportunity for the truck will manifest in fleet vehicle sales. With the decline in gas prices due to unconventional drilling and extraction, companies can realize a $0.50 saving for every litre – an enormous contribution to their bottom lines. As well, companies seeking to “green” their operations will produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions as compared with other fossil fuels.

    While the upfront costs of a natural gas vehicle may seem high ($7,500 – $9,500 more than the average $24,000 Ford F-150) the typical cost savings of using natural gas could pay for the difference in as little as two years.

    If it were readily available in your vehicle of choice, would you make the switch to natural gas? Let us know in the comments section provided below.