A strange new gas station has popped up at a popular fueling
spot in Bonneville County. The station features a 16,000 gallon tower of
liquefied natural gas that is stored at a temperature of -260 degrees. Its
owner is a company named Blu. and you will see a steady stream of yellow busses
from the INL frequenting the place in an effort to go green.
It’s no secret; the United States relies on others for our
“We use about 21 million barrels a day of crude oil and we
are only producing about 8 million barrels a day,” said Richard Peterson, Executive
Vice President of Blu LNG.
This means according to these numbers, we are importing more
than half of our daily needs but it doesn’t have to be that way.
“We are energy rich,” said Peterson. “We have more natural
gas than Saudi Arabia has oil.”
Richard says there is at least a 200 hundred year supply of
natural gas in the United States and more could be reached with better
technology. It’s something that has caught the attention of the INL who has already
made a significant reduction in their fuel consumption.
“5 years ago, we were going through about 1.2 million
gallons of fuel a year for our operations and right now we are down to about
half,” said Scott Wold, INL Mission Support Service Director.
In fact the conservation efforts were so successful that the INL had to brainstorm new ways to reduce
their fuel consumption. Last spring they decided to convert three of their
busses from biodiesel to a 50/50 blend of biodiesel and liquefied natural gas.
Data will be collected from the three busses and then they’ll
try to get approval to convert the rest of their 80 bus fleet.
“If we are successful with that, we can do another reduction
of our petroleum use out at the site,” said Wold. “And so basically we’ll go
from about 600,000 to what we are estimating will be less than 300,000 gallons.”
That would equal nearly a million gallons less than what
they were running each year just five years ago. This would be good for the
environment and save money at the national lab.
The INL began its bussing operations in 1951. Their fleet
travels 2.75 million miles a year.
Idaho is a leader when it comes to liquefied natural gas
fueling stations. There are only two states with more LNG fueling stations than