Brad Gerstman: Hurricane Sandy, Reminding Us All It Is Time for Change on the Gas Line

In the wake of natural disaster we continue to struggle to rebuild what is truly a wounded tri state area. From destroyed homes to power outages, Hurricane Sandy and a subsequent nor’easter have reminded us New Yorkers how much we have missed the flow of everyday life. Unfortunately, aside from our storm related hardships, the majority of us were reduced to pure savagery in our efforts to refuel. With two hour lines and the daily rationing of station visits, New York residents angrily cursed state reliance on inaccessible fuel. However the ironic reality remains that a superior approach to the gas crisis does exist. So why aren’t we using it?

Recent years have proven to be a time of major advancement, as natural gas has become a valid consideration for the future of home and vehicle development. From the unpredictability of traditional gas prices to untimely limits on petroleum access, every day factors are motivating necessary change. Given our current state of affairs, who could understand this reality better then the citizens of New York and New Jersey?

Our reliance on the availability of petroleum has dictated the direction of life here in New York for weeks. From barges to trucks the avenues needed for us to actually receive fuel are financially excessive, time consuming, and ultimately unnecessary. With great technology knocking at the doors of thousands of empty vehicles and freezing homes, maybe it is finally time to bid adieu to needless, dangerous fumes.

Natural gas is the most prominent type of alterative fuel to exist today. Unlike conventional gasoline which must be received through a number of time consuming avenues natural gas consistently travels through pumps, eliminating the need for trucks and barges. In addition gasoline is known to easily ignite in all states at nearly any temperature. While natural gas being lighter then the atmosphere is much less flammable, and thus excessively safer. The reality is that underground pipes can provide fuel to both homes and fueling stations much more efficiently then traditional gasoline, especially in times of crisis.

Compressed natural gas or CNG is naturally dispensed through pipes and then compacted when received at CNG stations. This action allows for heightened pressure levels which are needed to instigate the movement of a car. The average cost of CNG fuel locally is about $2.60 a gallon. This is a far cry from the near $4.00 we pay for the same quantity of gasoline. Unfortunately, without proper CNG stations, New Yorkers are not going to buy vehicles that run on alternative fuel. Currently, only eleven CNG fueling stations and nearly twenty electric fueling stations exist locally. This is nowhere near enough to sustain the population of Long Island, let alone the state of New York. However, this still may be the start to something truly groundbreaking.

Compressed natural gas is an environment friendly, cost effective substitute to the crisis causing gasoline we currently use to fuel our cars each and every day. Having seen first hand the dangers of limited petroleum, it is time that we consider positive alternatives. CNG powered cars will not come before their stations do, which means we must maintain the push for developing a cleaner, efficient future. In times of crisis the line for gas should not be a worry on anyone’s minds, and with proper planning it no longer has to be.

Gerstman, an attorney, is the founding partner of lobbying firm Gotham Government Relations, which has an office in Roslyn.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Current month ye@r day *

Previous post:

Next post: