Although it may seem that today’s low diesel prices will last forever, that’s probably not going to happen. This may not be a bad thing. Thinking longer term – especially as we approach Earth Day on April 22 – the benefits of eventually switching to a natural gas fleet are clear: lower carbon emission; lower price per gallon; and public recognition that you are doing your part to help the U.S. lower our greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide emissions.
The federal government’s Clean Power Plan introduced in December sets some ambitious goals. Among them is the pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. There is an additional pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.
Why such an extreme plan? One reason is that carbon pollution is the biggest driver of climate change, which is already wreaking havoc on economies and populations in the form of severe weather throughout the world. Even so, both global temperatures and carbon dioxide levels are on the rise. The global annual average temperature has increased by more than 1.5 degrees F between 1880 and 2012, according to the National Climate Assessment. Climate scientists say we need to avert an additional 2-degree temperature increase to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.
In the U.S., the transportation sector is the second largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions (only behind the electricity industry at 32 percent), according to the Energy Information Administration. So it seems right that we as an industry should make a concerted effort to reduce our footprint.
Over the past several years, we have had the pleasure of working with companies that are converting their fleet to natural gas. It’s especially rewarding to know we join them in contributing to the important progress being made in lowering emissions: In 2012, U.S. greenhouse gas pollution fell to the lowest level in nearly 20 years.