Fill ‘Er Up—Naturally

Here’s an interesting dispatch from the world of clean energy: South Jersey is now one of just two places in the country where folks can fill up their cars with natural gas.

On October 14, a new gas station at the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) in Egg Harbor Township became only the second in the nation to offer compressed natural gas to the public for cars and trucks. The $2 million station off Delilah Road features two pumps on the center island where vehicles that run on natural gas can fill up on the cleaner-burning fuel.

According to the Press of Atlantic City, the new station represents one of several steps being taken in South Jersey to make the switch to natural gas. Upper Township in Cape May County, for example, is studying a proposal to convert its fleet of trash trucks to the alternative fuel. Atlantic City’s jitneys are converting to compressed natural gas, with their own filling station to open next year. And officials say that the ACUA will eventually replace all of its garbage and recycling trucks with ones powered by natural gas.

Natural gas, while cleaner-burning and cheaper than conventional petroleum, does not come without its share of controversy. Drilling for natural gas requires a process of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” that has accidentally poisoned drinking wells in other states.

According to the Natural Gas Vehicle Institute, there are approximately 110,000 natural gas powered vehicles on the road in America today.

What do you think? Is natural gas an answer to our energy woes? Does anyone out there actually drive a natural-gas powered vehicle?

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