Best bet for fuel relief is ‘natural’

I?ve been mull?ing it over about breaking our dependence upon foreign oil and can?t help but think that it won?t be solved until we figure out how to easily make our cars, trucks, trains and boats more efficient.

Switching all of our vehicles to hybrids and electric will take a long time since not everyone is in a position to buy a new vehicle just now. And it isn?t possible to make enough ethanol to substitute for all of the gasoline we need.

So we have to find a way to fuel our vehicles with something that can be an intermediate step, and it looks to me like compressed natural gas could make that happen.

From what I have read it is fairly easy to convert to CNG and it costs much less than gasoline too. You can make it at home and fill up right there as well as from commercial CNG stations.

It wouldn?t hurt the convenience stores as they have maintained they don?t make their money on fuel anyway but on the heavily marked up products inside.

Natural gas is plentiful in the United States and wouldn?t need to be imported. All the jobs to produce this replacement form of energy would be U.S. jobs.

The biggest drawback I see is that it takes more space for a tank, but I drive around with an empty trunk most of the time anyway.


I made a quick trip to Iowa for my Midwest Free Commun?ity Papers meetings this past week and found the highways to be just as crowded as usual.

Coming back I explained my policy of buying gas in Kansas so the sales and gas taxes stay in our state to our ad salesman Will Tate, who went with me.

As we neared Kansas City, the distance to empty reader in the car started to drop dangerously low. We crossed the state line and headed for the first gas station we saw. When we pulled in, the indicator read one mile to empty.

That?s the closest to empty I have ever taken it, but then Nancy wasn?t with me this time.


We were surprised a couple of days ago when grandson Louie sent us an e-mail to tell us he had an account all of his own. It caught us a little bit by surprise, but I like that kind.


At the free-paper meetings I ran into the folks who own and work at the Mountain Lake and Windom, Minn. newspapers. As we talked, I found out that one of them went to school and was in the same class with my cousin Kathy, and his wife had her hair cut by my Aunt Marion back when she was still cutting hair. And they go to the same church as my aunt. Small world.


I also learned the Pow Wow celebration in Mountain Lake will be the 75th year next June.

I?ll never forget when I lost all of my money in one of those crane-crank things where you try to pick up a prize by turning a couple of knobs. I guess I didn?t know any better at age 7.


We stopped for gas in Beth?any, Mo., on the way up and I got the heebie jeebies when I saw my Jefferson Line bus parked out in the exact same place it parked when I rode it up to Iowa in April.


I?m still listening to the Prair?ie Home Companion jokes.

What is the difference between an optimist, a pessimist and an engineer?

The optimist sees the glass as half full, the pessimist sees the glass as half empty and the engineer sees the glass as too big.

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