Clean Transportation in Spotlight at Federal and State Level
Two interesting developments regarding clean transportation were announced yesterday. First, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced awards of $164.7 million for transit agencies pursuing energy-conserving, pollution-reducing or otherwise green transit technology projects. Included in the 63 different awards were funds to build alternative energy fueling stations and to purchase electric, hybrid, CNG or bio-diesel buses. Awards ranged from $10.2 million for LA’s Foothill Transit to purchase fast charge battery electric buses, to $73,936 for the State of Colorado to purchase energy-saving devises for a bus-storage facility. The funding for these grants came from two programs included in FTA’s 2010 Discretionary Sustainability Funding Opportunity, including a Clean Fuels Grant Program and the Transit Investments in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) Program. (Note: TIGGER is not to be confused with TIGER, the Department of Transportation’s Innovative Transportation Project Funding that was originally part of the Recovery Act.)
Second, the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) published the 2010 edition of their annual report that ranks states by their vulnerability to oil prices and by how states are doing at helping to reduce drivers’ dependence on oil. The report, called ‘Fighting Oil Addiction: Ranking States’ Oil Vulnerability and Solutions for Change,’ found that, for example, Mississippi drivers spent nearly two and a half times more of their income for gasoline compared to their Connecticut counterparts. NRDC’s assessment of state policies and programs looked at efforts to promote clean and efficient cars, clean fuels, smart growth and public transit. This analysis found that the 10 states that are doing the most to promote clean energy technologies and reduce their dependence on oil are: No. 1 California, No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Massachusetts, No. 4 New York , No. 5 Connecticut, No. 6 Washington, No. 7 Pennsylvania, No. 8 Minnesota , No. 9 New Mexico, and No. 10 Hawaii. Conversely, the 10 states doing the least to reduce their oil dependence are: No. 50 Alaska, No. 49 Wyoming, No. 48 Nebraska, No. 47 Ohio, No. 46 West Virginia, No. 45 Oklahoma, No. 44 Mississippi, No. 43 Kansas, No. 42 Alabama, and No. 41 North Dakota.