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Latino Daily News

Thursday March 31, 2011

Dominican Republic Looks to Natural Gas to Fuel Vehicles, Gasoline too Expensive

Dominican Republic Looks to Natural Gas to Fuel Vehicles, Gasoline too Expensive

Photo: A car equipped with CNG tanks

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

In the Dominican Republic, gas prices are making it difficult to afford driving, but for those that do not have a choice, they are now turning to the cheaper and cleaner way to fuel their cars. Natural gas.

At about $1.91 a gallon, natural gas is close to one-third the average cost of gasoline in the Dominican Republic, which is at about $5 a gallon.

One motorist, Rafael Macario planned ahead and rigged his Toyota Camry to run on three different kinds of fuel; gasoline, propane, or natural gas. He said the problem now is the number of places to get the natural gas.

“People are waiting for more pumps,” he told the Miami Herald. “Right now, there area only two natural gas fueling stations in Santo Domingo, so you really have to plan your route.”

And though he is happy to ‘go green,’ he admits that “objectively, honestly, it’s about the money.”

Currently, the country is still struggling to provide uninterrupted electricity to people’s homes, and is hoping that building more natural gas fueling stations will allow the country to make it the biggest source of energy and revenue and stop the frequent blackouts and help with the federal deficit.

Right now, there are only 1,500 cars equipped with the 19-gallon natural gas tank, but officials believe that will double within the year.

Though natural gas may be better for the environment (and the wallet), it is also better for most cars, as it wears down the motor less.