Despite proponents like T. Boone Pickens pushing for compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles on America roads, the simple fact is, outside of states like California and Florida, a CNG-powered vehicle just isn't practical. Or is it?

As part of her Master's Degree thesis, Castlen Kennedy, a student at the University of Texas in Austin, is driving a CNG-powered Chevy Tahoe from Texas to Boston, MA in the hopes of spreading the word about CNG and meeting some of the people who are already involved with natural gas. She's calling it, "The Green American Road Trip." As of yesterday, Kennedy was halfway there.

Kennedy isn't some dreadlocked college student out to save the world. Oh, no, when she talks about natural gas she's speaking as someone who's been an industry insider for years. She attends UT, but she also works part time at Apache Corporation, an independent oil and natural gas producer headquartered in Houston. Before that, she worked at the Office of Fossil Energy at the United States Department of Energy as a Senior Policy Advisor on oil and natural gas issues. Before that she worked at Enron.

So far, the trip's been a big success. Castlen called ahead to all the stations at which she planned to refuel to make sure they were open to the public and the planning seems to have paid off. The trip hasn't been without its hiccups and empty-tank scares but hey, when you're an alternative fuel pioneer, you run the risk of being stranded now and again. Just ask any of our readers who run their rides on stuff other than pump gas. Check out the website for blog entries and videos from the last several days. If that's not reason enough for you to visit, you can also register to win a free Apple iPad.

[Source: Green American Road Trip]



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