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Natural Gas Cars Could Ease Pain At Pump

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - What if someone told you that you could fuel up your car for less than $2 a gallon?

You could if you were driving a car powered by natural gas.

It may sound crazy, but a growing number of our friends and neighbors are already driving natural gas cars.

KDKA Investigator Andy Sheehan spoke with experts who believe it won't be long before more of us will be reaping the savings.

Natural gas burns cleaner than gasoline, is far cheaper and there's an abundant supply of it right under our feet in the Marcellus Shale. That means we don't have to rely on foreign suppliers.

"It's cheaper, clearer and provides a way for the United States to get energy independent," David Ross from EQT said.

It's becoming more readily available at filling stations such as one in the Strip District, which is run by EQT.

A growing number of fleet operators and private drivers are already realizing the savings. At a $1.76 a gallon, natural gas is about 50 percent cheaper than gasoline.

Right now, it's primarily commercial operators who are taking advantage of those savings by converting their fleets. Giant Eagle, EQT, Iron City Uniform are just a few who have done so.

However, private owners are also taking the plunge. Tom Peters had a local company convert his 2004 Ford Explorer to natural gas for $6,800.

He said in addition to cheaper gas, the cleaner burning fuel has improved his gas mileage. He also said he'll make up his investment in two years.

Honda is betting on the trend by ramping up production of a Civic model, which will be available for sale at Washington Honda in the next few weeks.

At $26,000 -- or a premium of about $8,000 -- General Manager Gary Flannery said it still makes sense for more and more drivers.

"I think there's no doubt about it. It's plentiful, especially our area and we're expecting right now for the distribution system to grow and grow," Flannery said.

Crunching the numbers it may or may not be right for you, but it's clear that it's cleaner, cheaper and for more and more businesses and people, it's the solution to pain at the pump.


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