As the United States observes National Transportation Week, which runs from May 14 to 20, the California Energy Commission is recognizing transportation’s integral role in our country’s past, present, and future.
Just think about the changes to our country and state driven by the completion of the transcontinental railroad or the foundation of the interstate highway system. Or how most Americans depend on transportation for their daily commute to work or school, for running errands or delivering goods.
But our country’s reliance on petroleum-based transit to connect people, places, and goods has come at a cost. Burning fossil fuels emits greenhouse gases (GHG) and other pollutants that impact the health of our citizens and environment. In California, transportation contributes nearly 40 percent of GHG emissions.
That’s why the Energy Commission is working with partners in state and local government, as well as private stakeholders, to support adoption of cleaner transportation powered by alternative and renewable fuels.
Through the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP), the Energy Commission has invested more than $748 million in a broad portfolio of more than 585 clean transportation projects. These projects range from conversion of curbside waste into biofuel to the installation of hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Several are featured on the Driving to Cleaner Transportation webpage.
The Energy Commission plays a key role in California’s ambitious efforts to reduce GHG emissions and get 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on the road by 2020.
The Energy Commission is investing in a network of conveniently located fueling and charging infrastructure, which is essential to expanding ZEVs statewide. The ARFVTP’s 2017-2018 Investment Plan Update, which the Energy Commission adopted in April, allocates $38.4 million for these projects.
The investment plan also sets aside more than $51 million for projects supporting the development of alternative, renewable fuels and the vehicles powered by them—including buses and delivery vans. Additionally, the plan earmarks $3.4 million for workforce training to translate clean technology investments into sustained employment opportunities.
California continues to pave the way for a zero-emission transportation future. Moving forward, the Energy Commission will continue its work to reduce GHG emissions, improve air quality, promote economic development, and reduce our dependence on petroleum.