Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Clean Cities Blog

The Clean Cities Blog began in October 2012. The Clean Cities Blog helps Clean Cities coordinators and stakeholders access information about alternative transportation topics that affect their coalitions around the United States.

This blog supports the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities program.

Learn about the Clean Cities blog policy.

20 Years On the Road to Energy Independence

This is the 20-year anniversary of Clean Cities. In those 20 years, the program's cumulative petroleum savings surpassed 5 billion gallons.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Momentum For Natural Gas This Week

This week, in a speech devoted to climate change, President Barack Obama underscored - again - the benefits of natural gas as a heavy duty truck transportation fuel. (View the speech here on C-SPAN.) It's cleaner than imported diesel. That has long been the cornerstone of the Pickens Plan.

National Journal recently hosted a conversation about the future of natural gas in America and the opportunity we have for reducing our dependence on OPEC oil through this cleaner burning, abundantly available American resource.

Watch this video for highlights from the panel featuring Andrew Littlefair, CEO and Chairman of Clean Energy Fuels, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Representative John Larson (D-CT), and former Governor Bill Graves, President and CEO of the American Trucking Association.

After you've watched the video, share your thoughts via Twitter @BoonePickens and @PickensPlan or at

P.S. This week's Western Governors' Association annual meeting in Park City, Utah will be streamed live online featuring speeches on Friday by T. Boone Pickens and new Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell. Click here for more information about when and how to tune in.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fracking Forum At UCLA, July 25, 2013

The Union of Concerned Scientists and The Center for Science and Democracy will hold a forum on fracking on the campus of UCLA on July 25, 2013, from 2 PM to 5 PM.
This event will be a unique opportunity to join leading thinkers and key stakeholders for a dynamic discussion about the state of the science around hydraulic fracturing, the state and federal policy landscape, and what citizens and policy makers need to know to make informed decisions on oil and gas fracking.

There is no mention of any charge to attend this forum. There will also be a webcast. Register here for either the webcast or live attendance.

Click here the complete program for the forum, with subjects and speakers. The subjects:
  • Why Here and Now: Understanding how the best available science can help inform public’s discussions and decisions on fracking
  • “The Curious Case of Fracking—Questions from the road”: A Video Screening
  • Assessing the state of existing science and identifying key knowledge gaps to be addressed
  • Global energy security, economics, and geopolitics of Fracking
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the current regulatory landscape, and the role for science in the decision-making process
  • California in the context of the national debate over fracking
  • Improving access to information for citizens and policymakers and working together to advance informed decision making
  • Who Has a Say?: Where science and social justice meet and the public power to decide
  • In Everyone’s Backyard: the fight for information in the high-stakes shale gas debate

Monday, June 24, 2013

WSJ Summary Of The Natural Gas Market

In this MoneyBeat article James Herron discusses natural gas growth in Europe (where it competes with cheap U.S. coal), the effect on Russian natural gas exports, and plans to increase shale gas production around the world.

Political Battle Over Fracking Creates New Bedfellows

An analysis published in The Desert Sun on the alliance between labor unions and Republican business entrepreneurs to defeat a fracking moratorium bill in the California Assembly. The Democrats who voted with Republicans represent central California, where unemployment stand at 12%.

Suggestions For The Success Of The CV Link

Using the report Unraveling Ties To Petroleum: How Policy Drives California's
Demand For Oil
produced by Next 10 as a starting point, K Kaufman, energy reporter for The Desert Sun, offers her suggestions for the CV Link, the bikeway to be construction along the Whitewater River channel through the Coachella Valley. These include…
  • The valley will need a comprehensive network of bike lanes and town walking paths to get people from their neighborhoods to the parkway.
  • The valley should also plan for a bike-share program, similar to those that are gaining popularity across the country.
  • The valley needs better public transportation, which may mean thinking beyond SunLine Transit Agency; specifically, she mentions jitneys.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Alternative Fuel Buyers Guide For Ford's Commercial Vehicles

From Ford, download it here (20-page PDF, 2.5 MB).

June's Question Of The Month

Question of the Month: What are the requirements for state and alternative fuel provider fleets under the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct 1992) and subsequent regulations and directives?


EPAct 1992 mandates that certain state government and alternative fuel provider fleets in the United States acquire specified percentages of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) on an annual basis as they add light-duty vehicles (LDVs) to their fleets. Below we have described a number of means beyond simply acquiring AFVs by which these fleets may achieve compliance.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for overseeing compliance with these requirements, which were promulgated and published at 10 CFR Part 490 as the Alternative Fuel Transportation Program. Information about state and alternative fuel provider "covered fleets" (fleets subject to EPAct 1992 requirements) and the requirements associated with this compliance program are outlined below for each fleet type.

State Fleets
Covered Fleets
State government (including state agency and state university) fleets are considered covered fleets if all of the following conditions are met:
  • They own, operate, lease, or otherwise control 50 or more light-duty vehicles (LDVs; vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or less) within the United States and are not on the list of excluded vehicles. Excluded vehicles include emergency, law enforcement, and non-road vehicles;
  • At least 20 of those vehicles are used primarily within a single metropolitan statistical area (MSA)/consolidated MSA (CMSA), based on 1980 census data. A list of covered MSA/CMSAs can be found online; and
  • Those same 20 vehicles are centrally fueled or capable of being centrally fueled, meaning they are capable of being fueled at least 75% of the time at a location that is owned, operated, or controlled by the fleet or is under contract with that fleet for fueling purposes.

The following resources may be used to determine whether a state fleet is covered:
Like federal fleets regulated under EPAct 1992, a covered state fleet must acquire in a model year the number of AFVs that is equal to at least 75% of the fleet's non-excluded LDV acquisitions.

Compliance Methods
Covered state fleets may meet their requirements using multiple means through one of two compliance methods:
  • Standard Compliance: Fleets can acquire the requisite number of new or used AFVs, convert conventional vehicles to run on an alternative fuel within four months of acquisition, or obtain AFV credits from other covered fleets. Covered fleets earn one credit for each light-duty AFV that is acquired beyond the fleet's annual requirement for the model year. Credits earned by going beyond compliance are banked for future use. Credits may also be traded with other fleets. Covered fleets may also meet up to 50% of their AFV-acquisition requirements by purchasing biodiesel blends of at least B20 for use in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. One credit toward compliance is earned for every 450 gallons of neat biodiesel (B100) or every 2,250 gallons of B20 purchased for use. Credits earned for biodiesel purchase for use may not be banked. In addition, a fleet may earn credits for its medium- and heavy-duty AFV acquisitions, but only after the fleet has met its light-duty AFV acquisition requirements.
  • Alternative Compliance: Covered fleets may obtain a waiver from the AFV acquisition requirements of Standard Compliance by submitting and then implementing a DOE- approved plan to reduce the fleet's annual petroleum consumption. The plan must result in petroleum reductions equal to what the fleet would have achieved if all its AFVs were running on alternative fuel all the time. The plan must also include a sufficient level of data and information to support the fleet's compliance requirements, particularly information on fuel use. Alternative Compliance petroleum reduction methods include, among others, hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) use, alternative fuel use, reduction in vehicle miles traveled, idle-time reduction, and truck stop electrification.

For a summary of compliance methods, visit this website.

Inclusion of Hybrid Electric and Plug-in Electric Vehicles
Currently, all-electric vehicles (EVs) and some plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) qualify as AFVs under Standard Compliance. DOE published a notice of proposed rulemaking in October 2011, pursuant to Section 133 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, that would allocate AFV credits for covered fleet acquisitions of the following vehicles:
  • HEVs would receive one-half credit
  • PHEVs (those that do not already meet the definition of an AFV) would receive one-half credit
  • Fuel cell electric vehicles (those that do not already meet the definition of an AFV) would receive one-half credit
  • Neighborhood electric vehicles would receive one-fourth credit

For more information on this proposed rulemaking, please see this proposed rule fact sheet and the full notice.

Alternative Fuel Provider Fleets
Covered Fleets
A covered alternative fuel provider is any entity that meets one of the following conditions:
  • The entity's principle business involves producing, storing, refining, processing, transporting, distributing, importing, or selling any alternative fuel (other than electricity);
  • The entity's principle business involves generating, transmitting, importing, or selling electricity at wholesale or retail; or
  • The entity produces, imports, or produces and imports in combination, an average of 50,000 barrels per day or more of petroleum, and 30% or more of its gross annual revenues are derived from producing alternative fuels.

An alternative fuel provider is not covered if its principal business involves:
  • Transforming alternative fuels into products that are not alternative fuels; or
  • Using alternative fuel as a feedstock, or fuel, in the manufacturing of products that are not alternative fuels.

In addition to meeting this definition, alternative fuel provider fleets are also subject to the same conditions for inclusion as state fleets (see above). For example, if a fleet does not own, operate, lease, or otherwise control at least 50 non-excluded LDVs, then it is not considered a covered fleet.

The Decision Tree for Alternative Fuel Provider Fleets may be used to determine whether an alternative fuel provider fleet is covered.

A covered alternative fuel provider fleet must acquire in a model year the number of AFVs that is equal to at least 90% of the fleet's non-excluded LDV acquisitions.

Compliance Methods
Covered alternative fuel provider fleets have the same options for achieving compliance as state fleets.

Additional information on state and alternative fuel provider requirements and compliance options, as well the annual reporting requirements, may be found on DOE's EPAct Transportation Regulatory Activities website. In addition, the online Clean Cities University course on Understanding EPAct-Regulated Fleets provides an overview of state and alternative fuel provider requirements.

Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Webinar: "CNG and LNG: What's Best for Your Fleet?"

Westport and Clean Energy Fuels hosted a live webinar event. Featured speakers were Westport's John Howell, Senior Director of Marketing and Clean Energy's Jim Harger, Chief Marketing Officer.

Choosing the best fuel option involves careful consideration of the fleet's applications, truck/engine sizes, routes, hauling needs, fueling capabilities, and more.
  • Learn what fuel options make the most sense for your fleet vehicles.
  • Understand the differences in fuel and equipment costs.
  • Discover what's happening in infrastructure build-out.
  • Find out what questions you need to ask to make the best comparison.
  • Determine how to calculate vehicle payback/return on investment.

This replay presentation includes audio and PowerPoint slides. Please contact for questions or further information about the information contained in this presentation.

Leaving the Era of Oil Behind

Tomorrow's Trucks: Leaving the Era of Oil Behind (72-page PDF, 5.6MB) is a report released in May by the national non-profit organization Energy Vision
[T]here has been a rapid rise in the use of natural gas garbage trucks – a ten-fold increase over the last five years. "Heavy duty trucks have been among the most polluting and fuel-consuming fleets in the region," says Energy Vision's president, Joanna Underwood, "and this shift has eliminated the need for 4.52 million gallons of diesel fuel producing significant fuel cost savings of from $4.5 to $6 million a year."

Cleaning Up with Natural Gas

A video report by Ford on using natural gas in vehicles:

Tool To Compare Gasoline And Electric Cost

The Department of Energy has released tool that allows you to compare the prices of electricity and gasoline called eGallon. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says...
Consumers can see gasoline prices posted at the corner gas station, but are left in the dark on the cost of fueling an electric vehicle. The eGallon will bring greater transparency to vehicle operating costs, and help drivers figure out how much they might save on fuel by choosing an electric vehicle. It also shows the low and steady price of fueling with electricity. Not only can electric vehicles save consumers on fuel and reduce our dependence on oil, they also represent an opportunity for America to lead in a growing, global manufacturing industry.

Today, eGallon says the average price of unleaded regular gasoline in California is $3.98/gallon, while a California eGallon is only $1.51.

Monday, June 17, 2013

"More Funding for Southern California NGV Programs"

Taken from NGVAmerica - June 14, 2013, Volume 16 Edition 24

More Funding for Southern California NGV Programs

Southern California's Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) has announced the availability of $38.5 million for innovative projects and programs in the South Coast region to help reduce harmful emissions from vehicles. The MSRC's new two-year work program will fund five broad program areas, focusing on new or upgraded alternative fuel vehicles, alternative fuel infrastructure, and transportation control measures. Of the total, the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Program has $7.5 million reserved for new and expanded refueling facilities for compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), and L/CNG fuels. To generate even more clean air benefits, additional funding is offered for facilities that offer public-access stations and utilize CNG produced from renewable sources. In addition, the On-Road Vehicle Program will offer $5.5 million for new school bus purchases and the acquisition of zero-emission and near zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the 14,001 to 26,000 GVWR category.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

20th Anniversary Issue Of "Clean Cities Now"

The twentieth anniversary edition of "Clean Cites Now" is available here as a 15 page PDF (3.1 MB). It includes…
  • Clean Cities' 20th anniversary and the history of the program,
  • The City of Sacramento's use of liquefied natural gas for refuse trucks,
  • A new tool that helps communities get ready for electric vehicles, and
  • Reduction of idling school bus engines at schools in St. Louis.

"The Time for Natural-Gas Trucking Is Now"

An opinion piece by Andrew J. Littlefair in Roll Call.
The logical next step for natural gas, from both a strategic and an economic viewpoint, is to maximize its use in our heavy-duty, regional and long-haul trucking fleets. Today, shipping goods from the East Coast to the West Coast poses a dilemma because of the high cost of diesel and the added regulations on that dirtier fuel. Natural gas offers an immediate solution.

The United States needs to adapt its heavy-duty, long-distance fleet to use natural gas, which would reduce the energy, time and environmental cost significantly. In the past, the challenge has been that the infrastructure — in the form of natural-gas fueling stations — was in its infancy and arguably unable to handle such a swift increase in activity.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"Stop Using Foreign Oil"

An opinion piece by Glenn Mollette with Houston Community Newspapers.
We can run automobiles and the large trucks of America on natural gas. It's time to start using it. Automobile companies are converting some of their vehicles to operate on natural gas. Service stations across the nation must move forward with natural gas pumps.