1816 NW 45th Str
Miami, FL 33142-4748
September 10, 2009
[recipient address was inserted here]
Dear [recipient name was inserted here],
While the price per barrel of oil has fallen from the last summer highs,
it's beginning to rise again. What hasn't changed is the percentage of
oil we import every day: over the past 12 months we have continued to
import nearly two-thirds of the oil we use.
Most of the oil we import is used as a transportation fuel - cars, trucks,
aircraft, boats and trains. About one barrel out of every five is used as
diesel fuel to power heavy trucks - 18-wheelers.
I am all for developing battery and fuel cell technology - or some other
technology which is still in the laboratory stage. But neither batteries
nor hydrogen are ready for widespread distribution to our national fleet
of approximately 250 million cars and light trucks. A battery also won't
push an 18-wheeler. The only fuel which is available to reduce our
dependence on foreign oil is domestic natural gas.
Due to recent advances in technology, we now have the ability to recover
natural gas from the enormous deposits in Texas, Louisiana and Appalachia
in the lower 48 states. In fact, a recent study Potential Gas Committee
estimates that natural gas reserves have surged by 35 percent. The 2,074
trillion cubic feet of domestic natural gas reserves cited in the study is
the equivalent of nearly 350 billion barrels of oil, about the same as
Saudi Arabia's oil reserves.
Natural gas is cheaper than diesel fuel. Natural gas is cleaner than
diesel. It's abundant. And it's ours.
The time to act is now and the NAT GAS Act is the best tool we've had in
decades to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
The NAT GAS Act of 2009 is a bi-partisan bill in both the U.S. House of
Representatives (H.R. 1835) and the Senate (S. 1408). In the House,
Congressmen Boren (D-OK), Larson (D-CT) and Sullivan (R-OK) introduced it
April 1 and it already has nearly 80 bi-partisan cosponsors. In the
Senate, Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Hatch (R-UT) were joined by Senate
Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) to introduce it on July 8.
The NAT GAS Act provides industry with the incentives to replace older
diesel trucks with newer natural gas vehicles - it's a great step in the
right direction. It will provide the momentum for engine manufacturers,
natural gas producers and natural gas distributors to ramp up and make a
real difference in our dependence on foreign oil.
I hope you will sign up as a cosponsor to support this important
legislation. I will be watching your press and floor remarks for
statements of support.