T. BOONE AND WILLIE

October 26, 2011 Vol. 7, No. 23

Within about 38 seconds of meeting Willie Nelson, you’d be talking biofuels. If you happened upon T. Boone Pickens, you’d be into a natural gas chat in less time than that. I’ve never met either man — though Sally Field once smiled at me as she walked by the cafe where I was having Sunday morning breakfast in New York City, and I tell you, there was a little… how you say… ‘frisson’ in that smile.

But I digress rather a lot.

As it happens, while Nelson and Pickens are committed to their pet fuels and I just want to know more about them, it doesn’t take much to get me rambling on about such things either. As regular readers will know all too well. It’s just so darned interesting, not to mention crashingly important, and I have the luxury of a job that demands I delve into these crucial corners.

Anyway, there’s been a clear indication in recent weeks and months that the biofuel dream is fading a fair bit, though hardly down and out, while natural gas gains steadily more adherents. Progress on the latter front is still running at a slower pace than T. Boone would like, especially up in Canada where subsidies are few and far between and truck-fuelling infrastructure is non-existent. Almost.

A review of the situation on both fronts is in order.

A QUEBEC PROJECT to create the country’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelling station opened last week in Boucherville, on Montreal’s south shore, where Robert Transport, Gaz Metro Transportation Solutions, and a slew of politicians came together to cut the celebratory ribbon.

As part of a C$5.4-million demonstration project called the ‘Blue Road’, the LNG station is the first of many that are planned to open along the 800-km corridor between Quebec City and the Toronto area. The next one will open in Mississauga, Ont., just west of Toronto, and a third in Quebec City, two hours east of Montreal. There are nearly 50,000 truck trips along that route each week.

Quebec is the only province actively supporting the construction of such LNG filling stations, but there are already more than 100 in the U.S.

Rolf Lockwood is editor emeritus of Today's Trucking and a regular contributor to Trucknews.com.


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