For good reason you may have found yourself worrying about the future of our nation in terms of energy. In 2011, our country imported more than half of our crude oil from foreign countries that oftentimes harbor hostility towards the U.S., paying a grand total of $450.8 billion — the largest wealth transfer in history. Oil price shocks and price manipulation by OPEC have cost our economy dearly — approximately $1.9 trillion from 2004 to 2008 — and each major shock was followed by a recession.
We may never eliminate our need to import oil, but we can reduce the stranglehold of OPEC and the economic impact by reducing our dependency on a foreign product.
There is a viable solution to this problem, and you are more than likely standing right over it. The solution is natural gas — more than 200 years' worth of domestic, clean, abundant and affordable fuel. On February 1, Time-it Lube took a step in communicating the message of natural gas when it opened its first compressed natural gas station on Pines Road in Shreveport.
Time-it Lube is not your average automobile preventative maintenance shop. We are a company of innovators. When the opportunity presented itself to offer CNG to proactive fleet providers and concerned Louisianans, I was elated to get the chance to serve this great nation and to take it one step closer to being energy independent.
When Time-it Lube first decided to construct its own CNG station, the goal was to build an infrastructure that would provide CNG to fleet vehicles and those that had converted their personal vehicles and offer the fuel at a price that would entice more fleets to convert. After further research, I was blown away at the potential available in the CNG automobile market. With just a few commitments from fleet providers the return on investment made the station worthwhile from a business standpoint.
I couldn't believe Time-it Lube was the first to find this much value in such an investment. Even though our CNG station was a good investment from a business standpoint, I feel it is an even better investment for the future of our country.
Natural gas is one of our most plentiful resources and a large contributor to our economy. I believe that every single CNG station constructed is a small victory for America and a step toward financial security for our country. Just imagine all that could have been done if that $450.8 billion had stayed home last year, and you were paying $1.75 at the pump instead of the nearly $4 you are currently paying for gasoline. It is really past discussion at this point; electric, hydro and bio fuels won't work for masses. The answer is natural gas fueling the "tried and true" combustion engine. The time is now.
By Chase Burns, business manager of Time-it Lube CNG in Shreveport.
March 23, 2012