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The New Alternative Fuel: Natural Gas and Its Derivatives!

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

Jim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)

… 

An awakening? Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf says natural gas (along with propane) is the new alternative fuel; the elixir for cleaning Pennsylvania’s air.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issued a press release Monday to take credit for/crow about handing out another $1 million of taxpayer money. This time the money is part of the state’s Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants (AFIG) program—a program aimed at replacing gasoline and diesel fuel or at least replacing a little bit of it—a token gesture. The state issued grants totaling more than $1.1 million in their effort to replace fossil fuels as the fuel that powers vehicles.

Alternative Fuel

And what “alternative” will replace those nasty fossil fuels? What clean-burning, good-for-the-environment option did Pennsylvania’s governor deign to fund for over $1 million?

Was the money used to purchase new electric charging stations for Chevy Volts, Nissan Leafs, and Teslas? Nope.

The superior option to replace those nasty fossil fuels is…other fossil fuels! The grants will buy buses that run on propane, and build compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling stations for vehicles that run on CNG. No electric outlets in sight.

Alternative Fuel

By using propane and CNG, Wolf says these projects will replace “hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel” (meaning gasoline and diesel), making Commonwealth’s air cleaner. It’s kind of funny that Wolf’s extremist enviro constituency hates natural gas, yet he properly calls it clean and green and hands out money to make it more widely available.

The governor’s press release from yesterday, announcing the grants, with details about how the money will get used:

Governor Tom Wolf today announced the approval of funding through the Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants (AFIG) program to support five alternative fuel projects that will save hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel and reduce air pollution in Pennsylvania.

“Through the AFIG program, DEP is continuing to diversify the vehicles and fueling options in Pennsylvania, and reduce air pollution from vehicles,” said Governor Wolf. “These grants will not only help put more alternative fuel vehicles on the road, but also expand the infrastructure needed to make alternative fuel vehicles more viable for Pennsylvania businesses and families.”

More than $1.1 million in grants were awarded across the two categories: Vehicle Projects and Refueling Infrastructure. The awards for vehicles will save approximately 136,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel annually. A full list of awardees is below.

Vehicle Projects:

Awardee: Derry Township School District
Project: The Derry Township School District Propane School Bus Conversion Initiative
County: Dauphin
Award Total: $14,084
Number of Vehicles: 4
Estimated GGE saved per year: 2,936
Project Description: The Derry Township School District Propane School Bus Conversion Initiative, seeks $14,084 in AFIG funding to help offset the cost of the purchase of four school buses that will run on propane fuel. The buses will be fueled at their bus depot, and the cost for conversion to propane is $7,042 per bus.

Awardee: DMJ Transportation Inc.
Project: Ride the Green Bus at Greensburg Salem School District
County: Westmoreland
Award Total: $74,400
Number of Vehicles: 24
Estimated GGE saved per year: 48,000
Project Description: DMJ Transportation is requesting $74,400 in AFIG funding to purchase of 24 72-passenger propane buses. Vehicles will be fueled at a local facility, who has agreed to install propane dispensers. The fueling station is accessible to the public via fleet cards.

Awardee: WW Transport Inc.
Project: Camphill CNG Conversion Initiative
County: Cumberland
Award Total: $140,000
Number of Vehicles: 7
Estimated GGE saved per year: 114,000
Project Description: WW Transport is seeking $140,000 in AFIG funding to purchase seven vehicles for its fleet to run on CNG at an incremental cost of $50k and grant request of $20,000 per vehicle. WW Transport will be utilizing Mobile Fueling Solutions’ delivery service to fuel their vehicles in Camp Hill.

Refueling Infrastructure Projects:

Awardee: Trillium Transportation Fuels, LLC
Project: Trillium CNG Lancaster Station
County: Lancaster
Award Total: $500,000
Project Description: Trillium CNG is requesting $500,000 in AFIG funds to construct a public access CNG fueling station at 202 Greenfield Road in Lancaster, PA. The station will initially serve the City of Lancaster. In a five-year period, the project is estimated to reduce 39.92 tons of NOx, 3,86428 metric tons of GHG emissions, and displace 1.3 million gallons of conventional petroleum fuel.

Awardee: Valley Waste Service Inc.
Project: Valley Waste Service- Public and Fleet CNG Fueling Station
County: Beaver
Award Total: $400,000
Project Description: Valley Waste Service, a waste hauler subsidiary of Vogel Holding, Inc., is requesting $400,000 in AFIG funds to construct an on-site CNG fueling station to allow fleet vehicles access to CNG fueling at their home location. This station will be owned by Valley Waste Service and will be available to the general public.

The primary goals of the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program are to improve Pennsylvania’s air quality and reduce consumption of imported oil through the use of alternative fuels that will help Pennsylvania’s economy and environment. DEP accepts applications for innovative, advanced fuel and vehicle technology projects, resulting in a cleaner and greener transportation sector in Pennsylvania. The AFIG Fund was established under Act 166 of 1992 and is administered by DEP’s Office of Policy.

Editor’s Note: Before our fractivist readers go apoplectic in calling Jim and I out for not opposing these subsidies, let me point out that I do oppose all energy subsidies, including these and I suspect Jim does as well. They are irrelevant in the big picture and, as Jim notes, are simply token handout opportunities for the Governor. Yet, who cannot be happy these particular handouts at least reflect reality; that the best investment to clean Pennsylvania’s air is, in fact, natural gas. The evidence is everywhere and one only need look at what New York City did to clean its air to realize the best economic fuel alternative for achieving measurable results with the least expense is natural gas (or, perhaps it’s derivative, propane, like that used in these school buses):

 

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One thought on “The New Alternative Fuel: Natural Gas and Its Derivatives!

  1. Money well spent. Diesel is nasty. Having spent a long period of time in the PA DEP Air Quality Program, specifically through the passage of the diesel idling act, change to a nat gas fuel source will aid the air environment a lot. Besides, more and more electric generation is being provided by nat gas, so that ultimate fate (money for charging stations) will be a plus too. This is good news being reported.

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