A call to arms from the newly radical energy incumbents in the "compressed natural gas" industry. Looks like, along with numerous election-cycle-ready campaigns like this this this and this, we can add CNG's scintillating new bromide to the 2008 energy-independence bandwagon.
Is it me, or is this one a little hard to jump out of your chair for? If you really think about it, the slogan, backed by the campaign's headline "Demand CNG Now," reads as shorthand for "KICK FOSSIL FUEL WITH SOME OTHER FOSSIL FUEL."
Click the dial one more notch and you've pretty much got "Drill, Baby, Drill!"
"CNG Now" is almost as uncomfortable as Sarah Palin's claim that she said "thanks but not thanks to that bridge to nowhere." But in that way, maybe a push for natural gas is perfectly compatible with the double-speak of presidential election politics, in which the Barnacles of the Beltway are suddenly the barracudas of "change."
Are we so cynical now that we believe up is down, war is peace, black is white and natural gas is green? More important, do the minds behind this slogan really think we're going to run yelling into the streets to demand more compressed natural gas?
These are questions the CNG campaign are going to have to ask, and fast. Right now, the slogan comes in dragging an albatross of "me-tooism," the lone accessory on a naked emperor. Energy independence is a worthy goal — one that deserves creative work that shift culture.
CNG may very well be a legitimate alternative fuel source. I can't say. What I do know is that this messaging strategy feels like an embarrassing call for STATUS QUO NOW. For a concept sure to run a long endurance race for media attention in clean energy, not exactly the best start out of the blocks.