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Businesses, Investors Betting on Future of Natural Gas
30 Mar 2012 EDT - CNBC.com
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Energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens has been proselytizing for some time now about what he thinks is a secret weapon to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil: natural gas .

The U.S. is sitting on lots of it and right now it is dirt cheap.

“We looked at natural gas two years ago. We’ve been listening to Mr. Pickens,” Mark Schupan, president and CEO of Schupan & Sons told CNBC’s “Street Signs.”

Schupan’s scrap metal recycling business, with 380 employees and about $250 million in annual revenue last year, converted 16 of its trucks to run on nat gas.

Nat gas prices are at decade lows compared to sky-high oil prices , which were still over $100 a barrel on the Nymex, even with this week’s declines.

Consequently, the price of compressed natural gas (CNG), which powers nat gas vehicles, is about half the price of gasoline at the pump.

Taking advantage of the disparity, major U.S. contract freight carriers are deploying heavy-duty natural gas-powered trucks in increasing numbers, said Clean Energy Fuels , co-founded by Pickens. Clean Energy is the largest provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America.

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