Building a Natural Gas Fleet? Infrastructure Not Included

BY David Pelcyger  August 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM EST

By 2008, the pressure to switch from diesel to natural gas was growing at the United Parcel Service shipping facility in Denver. A new technology called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” promised to drastically increase production.

At the time, the company’s decision to replace 44 of its familiar diesel delivery trucks with cleaner burning compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles was unusual. (They would go on to buy 140 more trucks in 2010) But today, with natural gas prices at historic lows and domestic production booming, more trucking companies are making the switch.

But a major hurdle remains. Natural gas fueling stations are few and far between, which means they can’t yet accommodate a large consumer market. The video above explores how Denver’s UPS branch dealt with that problem: by building its own on-site fueling station.

And here’s what it looks like to pump natural gas into a UPS delivery truck:

Last night, as part of a three-part series on the changing energy picture in our country, Ray Suarez reported on the battle between natural gas and coal in Colorado. On the NewsHour tonight, he concludes this series with a look at an unusual deal to drill on public lands between Utah’s environmental community, a natural gas company and the government.