The Instrument of God’s Chastisement = Oil

Richard Salbato 7-16-2008

After 40 years of the study of Catholic Prophecy, the one consistent element of future prophesy was a coming Chastisement, purification, punishment or whatever you want to call this.  What is evident is that it has not happened yet, it will be world wide, and in terms of total deaths, it will be greater than the flood.  It will be long before the end of the world, and long before the rise of the Antichrist. For the last half of this study, I have tried to figure out just how this Chastisement would come about and what I could do about it.  It is from this study that I came to know that there are many false apparitions and false prophets. This was easy to see because God cannot contradict God, and many of these prophesies contradicted other prophesies.  Once, however, that I was able to compile and compare only true prophesies I was able to see what would not happen and what I could not do to protect myself.  What I have never found out is exactly how this would start and how it would end, although it will be somewhere between 4 and 7 years. 

Somewhere in this period will appear two holy men, the pope and someone we call the great Monarch to bring us out of these problems. Without a lot of evidence, I have concluded that these two men could not do this without the help of the United States of America.  For this reason, I think America will be affected much less than the rest of the world. 

The object of this Newsletter is not to talk about the Chastisement, I have already done that over and over (see references below – Note 5).  The object is to speculate on just how it might start and what we can do about it. Those who are looking for signs in the sky or natural disasters have not studied prophesy correctly. These things (signs and wonders) refer to the time of the Antichrist; not our time.

Two great dangers to America

America has the strongest economy in the world, seven times greater than the second best (China), and the strongest military in the world, maybe stronger than all the rest of the world combined.  But there are two areas where we are very vulnerable to total collapse in a very short time and both of these have to do with the economy.  At the present time we owe $8 Trillion Dollars to foreign governments for our balance of trade, which is due mostly to buying foreign oil.  We now send 700 billion dollars a year to foreign oil cartels, which is the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world.  This is why the dollar is falling and why we are headed to recession, not the price of oil, but the transfer of wealth.

The first great danger then is that by 2030 the Federal Government’s cost of the interest on foreign debt and entitlements alone will equal all the Federal Budget leaving nothing else left over for running the government or the military. Disregarding entitlements for now, we cannot keep buying foreign oil without going bankrupt as a nation.  In fact, we must stop this within two years or it is too late.  More than an economic issue, it is a national survival issue.

The second great danger is an EMP attack. EMP is Electrical Magnetic Pulse. An EMP attack could disrupt all electrical systems in a given area, including the electric operations of your car. The best way to have a massive EMP attack is to have a nuclear explosion high in the atmosphere above the United States.  At 400 miles one bomb could wipe out all electric systems in the entire United States.  In the book, “One Second After”, you will see that everything would stop because everything depends on electric systems: water, food, gas, communications, transportations, boats, airplanes, and military. 

Some people say that no one would do this because we could so easily retaliate and do the same to them.  Not so fast, because as the book above points out, this bomb could be shot from a ship and the ship then sank into the ocean.  We would not know who fired it.

We have the know how to protect ourselves from this but we have not done it.  I worked for 10 years as an engineer for the government and part of that work was protection against EMP, but since then it has stopped.  (See Note 1)

Two Great Sins

The two great sins in America are 1.Abortion and 2.Supporting Satanists Abroad.  I have spoken over and over on Abortion, and only need to repeat here that anyone voting for a pro-abortion candidate is sinning and no other issue is of equal importance.  The above Chastisement will come about because of Abortion more than any other reason.  Even though when we die, we will learn that Abortion is the result of our failure to Love God and Neighbor.

In this Newsletter, however, I want to talk about oil, and the sin of oil.  From the time of the invention of tools we have learned to maximize our labor with the use of energy.  Years ago we should have used some moral criteria in the purchase of this energy instead of just buying the cheapest energy. We could have used our own energy because in total America has more energy than any other country in the world.  However, since countries like Saudi Arabia can pull out sweet oil at a cost of $2.00 a barrel, we chose to buy from them instead of our own, which had grown to a cost of $45.00 a barrel and this is no longer easy sweet oil.

Because oil companies like Exxon and Shell are international companies, they buy oil in the cheapest place and sell it at the best price.  If they can buy from Saudi Arabia cheaper than drill for it in America, they will.  This money, however, goes to Satanists.  What do I mean by Satanists?  We know that most of these countries are radical Moslems and want our distruction and therefore use this money we send them to kill Christians, castrate women, and arm terrorists.  But do we also know that in these countries they have hundreds of thousands of slaves they buy from all over the world with our money.  Hundreds of thousands of children go missing every year and mostly they are sold to the very wealthy in oil rich countries to by used as sex slaves and we pay for it.  Even if we pay more for energy, we must stop paying the bill for Satanists to buy weapons and slaves.  Not to mention, the persecution of Christians that today is greater than at the time of the Roman Empire.  If it was not for the money from oil, Iran could not build nuclear bombs or buy weapons that kill American soldiers and arm Hezbollah and Hamas. 


Personally, I do not believe there is any such thing as global warming.  I remember when Al Gore stormed into the Congress demanding we do something about global cooling years ago.  Later I remember when some Congressman warned about the Ozone and passed a bill outlawing aerosol cans only to find that Ozone vacillates with or without people’s help. Now we find Al Gore making a strange film on global warming, where he faked ice melting.  Now we find that the north and south poles are getting colder and not warmer.  Polar Bears, the icon of global warming, have had more babies this year than ever before in history.

When we were about to sign the Kyoto treaty on global warming, 31,072 American scientists (9,021 with PhDs) signed a petition stating there is no scientific evidence of man made global warming.  

But personally I do not care, because I hope people keep thinking there is such a thing as global warming because it fits into my plan to end our support of Satanists.  Just as Gandhi stopped buying English clothes made with Indian slaves and even burned them. It was costly for Indians to go back to making their own clothes but it ended the slavery.  How was England able to enslave 400,000,000 Indians with only 100,000 soldiers?  They controlled the life blood of the society, salt.  Because of refrigeration, salt is no longer the life blood of societies, but oil is, and we are being enslaved by Opec without even knowing it. (Note 2)

We must stop buying oil from the Middle East at any cost.  I will show that this will be costly only for one year, and even in that year the long term results will be economically sound.

National Economics

As said above we, as a Nation, own $8 Trillion Dollars to foreign governments, mostly for oil.  That will continue to grow by a trillion each year until we can no longer pay even the interest.  For this reason, the dollar continues to loose value, and when it looses value the cost of foreign goods like oil continues to go higher and higher.  It can be asked what came first the chicken or the egg, but it does not matter, the fact is that one drives the other, and it works both ways.

If we took the $400 billion that Americans spend every year on oil that goes into cars, we could use that money instead to pay the interest on an $8 trillion loan. That would be more than enough to swap out the 250 million registered cars in the country with electric vehicles, and still have trillion of dollars left over to start building new power plants based on renewable or nuclear energy. (Even if we stick with coal plants, they are still more energy efficient than car engines). Here is his math:

* total oil consumption in the U.S.: 21 million barrels every day.
* cost per barrel: $140
* days in year: 365
* total spent per year: more than $1 trillion
* percentage of oil consumed by passenger cars: 40
* total spent per year on oil for passenger cars: $400 billion
* at 5 interest, how much we could borrow and pay $400 billion every year in interest: $8 trillion
* number of registered cars in the U.S.: 250 million.
* cost of a new electric car, if mass-produced: $20,000
* value of a used car, if exported to Latin America or China: $5,000
* cost to upgrade average existing American car to a brand-new electric car: $15,000
* number that could be converted for $8 trillion: more than 500 million cars (i.e., twice as many as we have now)

Personal Economics

The average American household spends $800.00 per month on gas, or $9,600.00 per year. That is at $4.00 per gallon.  If that household was using natural gas for cars instead, it would spend $3,100.00 per year or a $6,500.00 savings.  Of course, they do not have a natural gas car, and to convert it would cost $2000,00 and another $2000.00 to have a converter at the home to pump natural gas into the car or cars from the natural gas of the house. 

Considering that even with the conversion, they would save $2,500.00 in the first year, and over $6,000.00 every year after, the economics make great sense.  Of course on days that you might travel a long distance you would have to know that you can find gas stations that would pump natural gas, but if you will see below, the internet can find those stations for you.  I have 20 stations within 30 miles of my house. (Note )

What about electric cars?  In the long run a combination of natural gas and electric cars will be the perfect solution because it will be much cheaper and both can be filled at home.  However, for the next 15 years, electric cars are too expensive to make sense.  The higher price paid for the electric car can not be recovered in less than 8 to 10 years.

National Responsibility

Lets make no mistake about it, the United States of America will never come out of this economic recession or even escape another war with Iran, unless and until we get totally off foreign oil right now.  This can be done with a simple but comprehensive energy plan to be implemented right away.

The American Solution

1. Add a $20.00 per barrel tax on every drop of oil from Opec Nations, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Libya, Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, Venezuela and Ecuador and no tax on oil from Canada, Mexico and Europe.  At the same time, offer a tax deduction for every drop of oil taken from American soil and used in America. 

You might think this would drive the price of gas up to $5.00 a gallon, but at the same time the speculators (who are buying long) will jump out of the market.  Even with the additional $20.00 tax, oil will drop to a total of about $130.00 per barrel.  That $20.00 in tax would be 30% of our use or 21,000,000 barrels times 30% or 6,300,000 barrels or $1,260,000,000 or twice our yearly national debt. 

Therefore our national debt of 8 trillion would be paid off in 4 years, saving us from national bankruptcy.  Of course, it would not be that simple because Obec will then try to stop us by dropping the price of oil and making it less economic to drill for our own.  We must not back off though even if it drops to $50 a barrel, because we are in their power now and that is not acceptable.

2. Drill and mine for oil in America now: Alaska, Off Shore, Oil Shale, everywhere.  At the same time increase oil reserves so that we cannot be blackmailed as we were in the past under President Carter. Most of what we will find off shore and in Alaska will be 20% oil and 80% natural gas. It is the natural gas that will be the most useful in the long run.

If in time we produce more petroleum than we need because of our conversion to natural gas and electric cars, we can sell it to China and India and bring money into the country instead of out of it. America’s oil shale has more oil than all the rest of the world combined and although expensive to get out of the ground, we can sell it to Europe, China and India for huge profits to America.

3. Convert coal to diesel fuel for large trucks, airplanes and the military.  Even now any airplane that lands and re-fuels in South Africa will be filled with diesel fuel made from coal conversion.  As I write the American military is experimenting with coal converted to diesel, and the military has found no difference or difficulty.  The reason they are doing this is that we have a 400 year supply of coal and we do not need to depend on Opec in case of war.

4. Change all natural gas electric plants to clean coal, wind, solar and nuclear so that the natural gas can be used only for cars and home heating.    

5. Change all cars made or shipped to America to natural car or a combination of electric and natural gas.

6. Give all Gas Stations an interest free loan to add natural gas pumps.  

The plan is simple and easy to follow.

1. The President should get on the TV and tell people that if we switch to CNG we can dramatically reduce any foreign oil dependencies and reduce all the green house emissions.

2. The government can give interest free loans to install the gas station equipment for stations willing to participate in exchange for keeping the prices under $1.50 for the first three years.

(This is entirely possible - Utah has a number of stations and the cost per gallon is under $1.00 currently) But by allowing the $1.50 charge this will provide enough profit for the stations to repay the loans and enough incentive for us drivers to switch.

3. Make the cost of converting current gas cars from $2,000 to as little as $500.

If we are transparent about this effort and pushed we could have the east coast and west coast done with about 40% of the cars converted by next summer. This plan would create jobs and generate profits for all companies concerned and would decrease our dependence all while making for a greener planet and decreasing our gas and travel costs.

Added bonus - if we get the correct tanks we should be able to use them for CNG now and switch them to Hydrogen later. Yes the first Hydrogen car just rolled off the assembly line but we are a good five years away from being able to afford it.

Sound too good to be true. It's not. We just have to get out of our own way and make the Government do the same.

Imagine paying as little as $1.25 a gallon to run your car. Not for gasoline. Instead, you would pump a fuel that's readily available, North American-produced and virtually pollution-free. Many motorists could even fill up in their own garages every night just like they would power-up with one of the gas-electric plug-in hybrids still under development.

With a home unit made by a company called FuelMaker, refilling a car overnight from a home's own natural-gas supply can drop the price even more. In California right now, the price equates to about $1.25 in natural gas for the equivalent gallon of gasoline.

The home unit, called Phill, mounts on a garage wall and is about the size of an old pay telephone. It costs about $3,900, but is eligible for a $1,000 federal tax credit and, at least in Southern California, another $2,000 in local incentives. But if mass produced it could drop to as little as $500 installed. 

A Honda GX natural gas car starts at $24,590, and is eligible for a $4,000 federal tax credit. It compares feature-wise to a midlevel, gasoline-powered $17,760 Civic LX. So right now it is $7,000 more expensive but pays itself off in gas saving in two years. The 2007 natural-gas GX is government rated at 28 miles a gallon in the city, 39 on the highway. If this was mandated, however, this price would drop to below the Civic LX.

Some dealers carry them in stock. Others require that customers order them, because there is so little demand.

Honda says if there were a spurt in orders, more can be made because they come right down the line at the automaker's East Liberty, Ohio, plant like other Civic models.

•Plentiful. While natural gas isn't renewable like ethanol, there's lots of it. Reserves point to at least a 60-year supply, says the Natural Gas Supply Association. This is only the reserves we already have wells in and what we have not drilled yet would be a 300 year supply.  Only 56% of crude oil for U.S. refineries comes from North America, compared with 98% of the natural gas consumed. About half of all American homes are equipped for natural gas.

•Environmentally friendly. Natural gas creates so few emissions that Civic GX is the cleanest internal-combustion powered car on the road. It's greener than a Toyota Prius gasoline-electric hybrid and tied with the Civic hybrid, according to the Energy Department rankings for 2007 models.

Prius and the two Civics are the only vehicles clean enough to qualify for stickers that allow solo drivers to take them in California's car pool lanes. But the allotment of stickers has run out for the hybrids. Only Civic GX can still receive one.

Ellis says that on a smoggy day, the GX's exhaust is cleaner than the polluted air its engine sucks in. Natural gas is more than 20% better for carbon dioxide emissions, blamed for climate change, than comparable gasoline engines.

•Ready to go. Other major automakers sell natural-gas-powered cars in Europe, Asia, South America and elsewhere, just not in the USA. General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner mentioned natural gas at a Switzerland auto show in March as one of the alternative fuels the automaker has intensified efforts to develop for foreign markets. (See Note 4, Why NG)

About 1,500 fueling stations nationwide

There are about 150,000 natural-gas vehicles in the USA, compared with 5 million worldwide, says NGV-America, an advocacy group for natural-gas-powered vehicles.

Natural gas is held back by the limited but growing number of fueling stations. Nationwide, there are about 1,500 natural-gas vehicle stations, about half of which sell to the public. California has about 200 where consumers are allowed to buy fuel as they would at any regular gasoline station, Honda says.

One chain, Clean Energy, has expanded to 170 stations in 75 markets. Oil baron T. Boone Pickens, who is a big shareholder in the company, says he got into the natural-gas fueling business nearly two decades ago because it is "cheap, clean and domestic.”

Automakers complain that when they made natural-gas vehicles, no one bought them, except bureaucrats for government fleets. Besides a shortage of stations, consumers are turned off by limited range — about 200 miles a tankful for today's GX — and a fuel tank that eats up trunk space. A driver can carry only about two small suitcases upright in the GX.

The auto industry's past interest was driven primarily by the need to try to fulfill government requirements at the time designed to spur development of clean alternative energy. Automakers saw interest fall apart when rules were modified to allow government fleet operators to switch from natural gas to flex-fuel vehicles, which burn either E85 ethanol or regular gasoline.

Ford Motor (F) phased out natural gas pickups and vans after the 2004 model year, but it still does after-sales CNG conversions in India. GM (GM) stopped sales in the USA as well.

"The (sales) volume went down every year," GM spokeswoman Nancy Libby says. "Even when Ford and Chrysler stopped making natural-gas vehicles before us, it didn't change that fact."

That was before the advent of home fueling. It was also ahead of the soaring gasoline prices of the last couple of years and President Bush's call for a 20% reduction in gasoline use.

The use of natural gas as a motor-vehicle fuel has tripled in the past decade, the Energy Information Administration reports. For instance, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Los Angeles now runs about 2,300 large buses on natural gas, having moved away from diesel almost entirely.

Option for big diesels like trash trucks

Natural gas could never replace gasoline. But it is a worthy substitute for a good chunk, maybe 20% or 30%, of the high-fuel-use market, Kolodziej says. Some environmentalists agree on the strategy.

Natural gas is a fossil fuel best suited to being "targeted to where it has the biggest public-health bang for the buck," which is to replace big diesels like trash trucks, says Roland Hwang, vehicle policy director for the National Resources Defense Council. For the consumer market, "The window of opportunity has passed on natural gas."

Honda deserves credit for continuing to market a natural-gas car, says Tim Carmichael, president of the Coalition for Clean Air, a California environmental-advocacy group. But consumers are still largely unaware of it, and the heavy-vehicle market holds more potential. Even a major oil executive whose company is involved in natural gas isn't enthusiastic. "It's going to require some sort of incentive before people go for it," says Shell Oil President John Hofmeister.

It didn't require much of an incentive, however, for 2003 Civic GX owner Jeff Church, 51, an airline pilot who lives in San Dimas, Calif. He says his natural-gas car, which he has driven about 53,000 miles, saves him a bundle. He estimates his home fueling unit delivers natural gas as cheap as 98 cents a gallon. The even bigger incentive is his car pool lane sticker, which allows him save 15 to 50 minutes zipping 42 miles from home to work at Los Angeles International Airport.

Home Natural Gas Unit

Honda and a partner sell a $2,000 home fueling station for natural gas cars.   Honda said the unit offers a "personalized solution" to the fact that natural gas is not sold at gasoline stations.

"The biggest obstacle to broader acceptance of natural gas vehicles is the limited availability of refueling stations," American Honda Vice President Tom Elliott, said in a statement.

Dubbed Phill, the unit attaches to a garage wall in homes with a natural gas connection and takes about six hours to refill Honda's Civic GX, the only compressed natural gas car still sold in the United States after Ford discontinued its model earlier this year.

Natural gas lines in homes are low pressure, and Phill gradually increases that pressure to the 3,000 or 3,600 pounds per square inch required by natural gas vehicles.

The unit is built by Toronto-based FuelMaker Corp., which says Phill is quieter than the average clothes' dryer and uses just 800 watts of electricity.

The unit is likely to be bundled with the Civic GX, now in its seventh year of U.S. sales. And while the Civic GX up until now had been marketed as a company fleet car, the availability of Phill units will open up sales to individuals.


1. EMP

2. The OPEC minister will look you in the eyes and state:

' We are at war with you infidels. Have been since   the embargo in the 1970s. You are so arrogant you haven't even recognized it. You have more missiles, bombs, and technology; so we are fighting with the best weapon we have and extracting on a net basis about $700 billion/year out of your economy. We will destroy you! Death to the infidels!

While I am here I would like to thank you for the following: Not developing your 250-300 year supply of oil shale and tar sands. we know if you did this, it would create millions of jobs for US citizens, expand your engineering capabilities, and keep the wealth in the  US  instead of sending it to us to finance our war against you bastards.

Thanks for limiting defense dept. purchases of oil sands from your neighbors to the north. We love it when you confuse your allies.

Thanks for over regulating every segment of your economy and thus delaying, by decades, the development of alternate fuel technologies.

Thanks for limiting drilling off your coasts, in Alaska, and anywhere there is a bug, bird, fish, or
 plant that might be inconvenienced. Better that your people suffer! Glad to see our lobbying efforts have been so effective.

Corn based Ethanol. Praise Allah for this sham program! Perhaps you will destroy yourself from the inside with these types of policies. This is a gift from Allah, praise his name! We never would have thought of this one! This is better than when you pay your farmers NOT TO GROW FOOD. Have them use more energy to create less energy, and simultaneously drive food prices through the roof.  Thank you US Congress!!!!

And finally, we appreciate you letting us fleece you without end. You will be glad to know we have been accumulating shares in your banks, real estate, and publicly held companies. We also finance a good portion of your debt and now manipulate your markets, currency, and economies to our benefit.       THANK YOUAMERICA!

3. Natural Gas Cars

Natural gas or CNG cars are available in this form now. GM makes 9 cars but does not sell any in the United States.  There are 8,000,000 in the world today but almost none in the USA.
Honda makes one the Civic GX - but GM Ford and Toyota have all made them previously and have them in fleet models.  Ford and GM have made CNG cars as far back as 1940.

4. Why natural gas?
Honda has been developing natural gas cars over the last decade, when the fuel maintained a large cost advantage over gasoline.  The Environmental Protection Agency calls the Civic GX the "cleanest internal combustion engine-powered vehicle ever tested."

And they note natural gas is more abundant in North America than petroleum. "Natural gas offers many benefits as an alternative to gasoline and is an abundant domestic resource that strengthens America's energy independence," Elliott said.

California is a natural market since it has the toughest car emission rules in the nation and even allows drivers of natural gas cars to use highway carpool lanes without any passengers.

Honda noted that while the unit will cost $2,000, federal, state and local government rebates might be available to buyers.

What hasn't been estimated is the cost of installing the units. Fuelmaker says installation costs will vary widely, depending on how close the unit is to one's natural gas line.

Natural gas powered vehicles or NGVs have been around since the 1930, but are being used more lately as an alternative fuel as people are looking for solutions to current pollution problems. One of the key benefits behind NGV’s are that they are very low in ozone reactivity. Almost any vehicle that runs on gasoline can run on natural gas. NGV’s range from passenger cars and trucks to buses.

There are to forms of natural gas that are used as a fuel for vehicles, the first is compressed natural gas, known as CNG, that is compressed to 2,400-3,600 pounds per sq. inch and stored in heavy steel constructed cylinders. The second form is liquefied natural gas, known as LNG, which is gas that is cooled to –259 degrees F. Natural gas comes from underground reserves made up mostly of methane.

Pro’s vs. Con’s


  Low tailpipe emissions of ozone-forming hydrocarbons, toxins, and carbon monoxide

  Can be made from a variety of feedstocks, including renewables

  Closed fuel system, doesn’t allow for evaporation

  Lower fuel cost


  High vehicle cost or conversion cost

  Low vehicle range (approx. 60% of that of a gasoline vehicle)

  Availability of refilling stations

  Availability of trained technicians to perform maintenance


It cost between $2,700 and $5,000 to convert a vehicle to natural gas, but from the manufacture NGV cost $3,500 to $7,500 more than a conventional gasoline vehicle. The additional costs can be partially subsidized by the government who is providing incentives to promote cleaner burning fuels. Another incentive is the low cost of natural gas.

Filling Methods

There are two types of filling methods used: a slow one that takes 6-8 hours and a fast method that takes 6-9 minutes. The slow method can been done overnight by hooking up to a household natural gas system. The fast method requires the use of compressing the gas into storage tanks before being pumped into your car.

Natural Gas vs. Gasoline in Vehicles

Tests compared the two vehicles in many areas to show that NGV’s are very similar to gasoline powered vehicles.

Lotus and Brazilian car manufacturer Obvio have a number of versions of cute VW Beetle-esque cars that run on any combination of ethanol, petrol or natural gas.  $14,000 new.

Within the next ten years the size, shape, efficiency, fuel and numbers of private automobiles is going to undergo a radical change. The nine million barrells of gasoline we currently use in the U.S. each day simply will not be available in the quantities desired at any price. If a transition to a more abundant fuel source than gasoline and diesel does not take place on a widespread basis before the shortages begin, there will be troubles. It is virtually certain that at some point the government will have to impose rationing that will keep functions vital to our society such as food, water, utilities and public safety functioning. The rest of us are going to have to find alternative means of transportation.

The solution to this problem is likely to be a much more diverse set of vehicles and modes of transportation than we have become accustomed to in the last 100 years of the automobile age. Despite their terribly low efficiency, the automobiles we now enjoy are incredibly flexible machines that can take us comfortably and inexpensively down the block or across the country in nearly all kinds of weather. In some forms the personal car could not only carry us, and a goodly number of friends or relatives, but also an incredible amount of stuff. As gasoline has nearly always been cheap and plentiful few gave a second thought to using a 4000 pound vehicle to transport a 150 pound person many miles to buy a pack of cigarettes at who-cares-how-few miles per gallon.

Our options for personal transport in the nearer-than-we-think future are going to be highly dependent on the timing of a number of situations currently developing. For example, if some man-made or natural catastrophe takes away a large portion of our gasoline supply overnight, there would, by definition, be no choice than to cut way back on driving, form car pools and use whatever public transit is available. While it may be a shock to our sensibilities and accustomed lifestyles, loading four to 15 people in a car, SUV or van can provide a lot of passenger-miles for a fraction of the fuel we use today.

It would take a lot of organization and an undreamed amount of inconvenience, but I suspect that gasoline consumption in the U.S. could be cut in half rather quickly if necessary. There are, of course, many uses for gasoline and diesel that would be much more difficult to reduce such as that used to deliver food, support utility maintenance and provide for public safety. When the troubles come, the burden of doing without will fall on our cars and light trucks.

Other scenarios would have our gasoline supply gradually slipping away over a period of years or simply becoming too expensive to allow virtually unlimited use of cars as we do today. If this is the way things turn out, then there will be a race for new power sources and probably shapes for personal cars. For the foreseeable future, the only alternative sources of power for private cars are electricity and compressed natural gas.

There are other candidates to power vehicles, such as hydrogen, compressed air and solar panels and there is no reason why one or more of these might not become viable someday. However, given the current technology, it is likely to be decades before they could come into widespread use. Our remaining candidates require little in the way of technological improvements.

Except for buses, natural gas vehicles are virtually unknown in the U.S. although there are about 7 million of them in operation worldwide. In some South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Iran and Pakistan, the natural gas powered vehicles make up about 25 percent of the cars on the road. Tehran which must import nearly half of its gasoline recently declared that from here on out cars are to be powered by natural gas in order to reduce reliance on imported gasoline. Sounds sort of familiar, doesn’t it?

The main reason natural gas hasn’t caught on in the U.S. is that it needs to be stored under pressure in big bottles that take up a lot more space than gasoline for a given range. As long as gasoline was cheap, few were willing to give up a 300+ mile range for 150 miles and trouble finding a place to refuel. Unless you were a really dedicated tree-hugger who felt better driving a car with near zero emissions, then you weren’t about to go to the expense or hassle of owning one.

So what are the prospects for a massive switch to natural gas vehicles? Given the option of natural gas with a few minor drawbacks, or walking, the answer to that is a no-brainer. Where do I buy one? Actually, you can, for Honda recently started selling the natural gas version of its Civic to the general public rather than just to fleets. Don’t run out and order one, however, until you fully understand the limits on the availability of natural gas and how you plan to use it.

As the price of imported gasoline goes off the scale, there is no reason why American Industry can’t start cranking out large quantities of natural gas powered cars, kits to convert existing cars, and natural gas compressing pumps to create fuel either at home or filling stations.

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