Fueling the future at Cabot

By Matt Porter

August 15, 2013 Updated Aug 16, 2013 at 12:03 AM EDT

Springville, PA (WBNG Binghamton) When Cabot Oil and Gas invited business and political leaders to its first fueling station, they did it to provide a look into what could be the nation's future.

Pennsylvania Rep. Sandra Major, R-111 District, said the country's energy independence begins in the Keystone State.

"Right here at home in Susquehanna County, it can help lessen our dependence on the foreign markets for our energy needs," Major said.

Cabot's William Desrosiers showed filling a car or truck with compressed natural gas only takes the touch of a button.

"It looks a little different because it's not a handle with a pump," Desrosiers said. "But really it comes down to attaching the quick connect air hose and from there turning the pump on."

The only difference he said is releasing the small amount of gas left in the hose at the end into the air.

He said the gas immediately dissipates leaving little chance of a spark creating an explosion -- unlike gasoline spills where flammable vapors can remain.

"This process is actually safer and better for the environment than a typical gasoline pump," Desrosiers said.

Adam Diaz, who owns a fleet of trucks, said natural gas costs half of what he spends on diesel.

He spent $2.5 million on diesel in 2012.

Diaz has converted one truck to natural gas so far, and said the upfront costs are recovered quickly.

"Depending on the different size, whether they're light duty or heavy duty, our return on investments are anywhere from six months to two years," Diaz said.

Cabot Oil and Gas hoped demonstrating the uses of natural gas will spur other companies to invest in the technology.