Some experts predict that gas prices will go as high as $5 per gallon by summer. However, for billionaire T. Boone Pickens, it doesn't matter how high those prices go, he will still be able to fill his tank with $1 per gallon fuel. So what is his secret to cheap fuel? Natural gas.
T. Boone Pickens drives a Honda Civic which has been converted to use natural gas that comes from pipes under his home. His alternative fuel only costs him about $1 per gallon. In an interview with CNN, Pickens said, "Natural gas is 'cheaper, it's cleaner, it's abundant and it's ours, and we're fools not to use it.'" The 83-year-old billionaire has been promoting natural gas for a long time. The biggest obstacle is the upfront cost. Pickens has been honest that it did cost thousands of dollars to transform his car and one truck engine conversion could cost close to $35,000. Despite the high start-up costs, in the long run Pickens and many others believe it is the right way to go.
Is it possible that gas prices will drop again and natural gas could just be a fad? Not likely. There are a lot of reasons why oil prices are rising and why gas may hit $5 a gallon by July 2012. Even Pickens predicted $5 per gallon gasoline last year. In this video he talked to CBS in 2011 about politicians still not addressing the problemÂ—the problem being dependency on oil; as long as Americans are dependent on oil, the prices will continue to rise.
So where do the current politicians stand on the price of fuel for Americans' vehicles? The Obama administration says the high gas prices are due to the economy being better and demand increasing. Obama has talked about alternative fuel but not much progress has been made on the subject. Gingrich has said that if he were elected president he would dictate how much the U.S. pays for foreign oil and he could get gas prices to $2.50 a gallon; however, he is still focused on oil and not other fuel alternatives. Then there is Santorum who blames the 2008 recession on high prices at the pump, but offers no solutions. Finally, Romney supports a pipeline to bring oil from Canada and is again focused on oil more than alternative fuel. Currently, none of the candidates have pushed natural gas as a way to escape high fuel costs and most have tried to avoid the subject of high gas prices when possible.
For now, if Americans want to drive a vehicle that only costs $1 per gallon to refuel, they will have to come up a with a few thousand dollars to convert their car's engine and then do their research to find out where they can get natural gas from. Pickens firmly believes that if more Americans push for natural gas to fuel their cars more places across the country will start to offer it. There has been an increase in France and it could happen in America as well. However, if Americans are waiting for politicians to make those changes happen, it might just be another 40 years of talk and no action.