There is growing interest in using liquefied natural gas to power trucks and other heavy-duty diesel equipment to eliminate cancer-causing diesel soot, particularly around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Clean-air regulators plan to convert trucks and other diesel equipment to natural gas, which will displace approximately one-third of the 2.8 billion gallons a year of diesel fuel burned in the state, according to Mike Eaves, president of the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition. That would account for 5 percent of the state?s natural gas. SoCal Gas is at the forefront of the movement to convert diesel vehicles. It sells natural gas to a network of natural gas vehicle fueling stations in Southern California, including one that it helped Riverside open last year. The city uses the station to fuel the fleet of natural gas vehicles it has purchased to satisfy clean-air requirements. The station also is open to the public. The utility joined the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Coalition for Clean Air to support the rules that the South Coast Air Quality Management District adopted in 2000. They require cities, public transit fleets, and taxi cab operators to begin buying cleaner-burning natural gas?powered trucks, buses, and cars. Mitsubishi subsidiary Sound Energy Solutions has pledged to make LNG and other clean fuels available in the Los Angeles Basin to power trucks, buses, and heavy equipment that now run on diesel fuel. This week, the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District wrote to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to support Sound Energy Solutions? proposal to set up an LNG vehicle fuel distribution facility at its terminal planned in Long Beach. Bringing LNG directly into Southern California would exert downward price pressure on natural gas, which at $1.85 per gallon equivalent costs less than diesel, which averages around $2.30 per gallon, according to advocates.