Experts Say Natural Gas is Good Alternative

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Many people are looking at alternatives to the high costs of fuel.

Experts say there's something out there that's cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

They say natural gas could be the solution.

"lt's really increased in popularity, maybe because it's perceived as an environmentally friendly fuel," said Shasha Fesharaki, consultant.

Several experts discussed this alternative at the Hawaiian Business Conference and Economic Expo. They say 90% of our energy comes from imported oil. If there's a major interruption in our supply, we'd be in trouble. So they believe natural gas is a good alternative.

Those on the panel say natural gas can come from stable supply sources like Australia and Alaska. They also believe it would be cheaper for consumers.

"We saw that gas could land in Hawaii at about 10-20% cheaper than HECO's fuel oil costs and diesel costs," said Fesharaki.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs organized this and say so far, it sounds like a good alternative.

"And it could be a very good economic engine for the Hawaiian people as well," said Clyde Namuo, OHA administrator.

But this study is just a first step. Officials haven't said how much infrastructure costs would be or if a place like Alaska would participate in a pilot project. So Hawaii shifting its dependency on oil, could still be a ways away.

"Whether or not it pans out to be a good investment, still remains to be seen," said Namuo.