Reduced Emissions Right Now

by Lauren Matheson | Sponsored Content, on Dec 15, 2021 2:01:14 PM

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Lauren-Matheson-headshot-300x300Happy Holidays, friends! I do not think I need to remind anyone in trucking that regardless of current events, there is never a dull moment in our industry. There is always some new regulation, efficiency training, or innovative technology to keep abreast of. Sometimes, it can feel overwhelming! We all want what is best for our drivers, our companies, and the environment, but how do we sift through it all to determine what is “best” and balance it with what is actually sustainable? 

For generations, diesel has dominated transportation as the primary fuel option, but at what cost? I know we hear a lot about Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology, and battery powered/electric trucks, and I will be the first to admit that it all sounds exciting. Who would not want completely clean, zero emissions vehicles to rule the road? But unfortunately, most of those options are only available for light to medium duty trucks at this stage in the game. For those of us in long-haul heavy-duty transportation across various terrains in the U.S., that simply is not an option at this time.

As a third-generation member of a family business, I have a personal stake in the success and the soul of my family’s company. Matheson Trucking has been a contractor with the USPS hauling mail over the road since the 60’s. We as a family and company care about stewardship, integrity, and personal responsibility. However, we are also here to get a job done and get it done well.

One business decision that tremendously helped us in achieving this goal while maintaining our core values was deploying natural gas vehicles on the routes we were able to early on. Since adding heavy duty natural gas vehicles to our fleet and taking advantage of infrastructure set up across the U.S., we have learned that natural gas is an effective alternative to diesel fuel’s power and reliability. Beyond its effectiveness, natural gas is staggeringly lower in harmful pollutants than diesel. According to Daniel Gage, President of Natural Gas Vehicles of America (NGVA), “All new natural gas trucks regardless of fuel source virtually eliminate NOx emissions, achieving emission reductions that are 90 percent better than federal or California standards, and they don’t produce any diesel particulates.” (1)

More recently, renewable natural gas (RNG) has come to the forefront of natural gas alternatives as a leader in reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. In a letter written in October of 2021, Adam Comora and Joh Maurer, Co-CEO's of OPAL Fuels, urged the Biden Administration to recognize and support RNG as a current solution to our current problem of global warming.

“By capturing and converting naturally occurring harmful methane emissions – which is over 80 times as potent as carbon dioxide in heating the planet – from dairies and landfills into compressed renewable natural gas for vehicles, individual large-scale RNG projects can prevent 29,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalent from escaping into the atmosphere each year.” (2)

A large source for RNG comes from dairy farms across the United States. This means that all that manure that was previously seen as marketable fertilizer at best, is in fact a reliable fuel source that requires no drilling, no charging station, and no reaching beyond our borders as a country to make use of and provide a carbon negative solution to a huge part of our global warming problem.

These statistics combined with our personal experience with these natural gas vehicles provide all the proof we need to continue moving full speed toward RNG as a fuel alternative while we maintain excellence and efficiency in serving the USPS. Matheson is grateful to be able to participate in taking care of our planet and making it cleaner and safer for those who come after us. We look forward to the future of alternative fuels and seeing other carriers come alongside us in this sustainability mission.

  1. Read The Star Carrier October 2021 Volume 27 Number 10 Dan Gage article here.
  2. Read The article where the CEO of OPAL fuels sent a letter to the Biden administration here.

Lauren is Manager of Promotions and Public Relations for Matheson Companies.

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