Senate Committee Funds Clean Cities FY2018

(Washington, DC) On July 20, 2017, the Senate Appropriations Committee included $28 million for the Department of Energy (DOE) Clean Cities program for FY 2018. While this represents a modest cut from the $34 million allocated to the program in FY 2016 and FY 2017, it is much better than the House bill, which only includes language supporting Clean Cities, but not a specific level of funding for the program. It also shows that the Senate has rejected the Trump Administration’s proposal to eliminate the program.
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Special thanks to Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the leaders of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, who crafted the legislation, and for their ongoing support of Clean Cities initiatives.  And special thanks to the thousands of concerned stakeholders for signing a national letter to the House and Senate Appropriations leaders coordinated by Transportation Energy Partners (TEP), and for contacting your individual House and Senate Members.

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) reports that the total number of propane autogas vehicles has grown by more than 35% over the past four years, with about 200,000 vehicles now in use in U.S. private and public fleets. Clean Cities has played an instrumental role in numerous propane autogas initiatives and growth of propane autogas as a clean, alternative fuel source for vehicle fleets, school and shuttle buses, delivery and other vehicles.

At the 2014 Energy Independence Summit, former PERC president and CEO, Roy Willis said, “For 20 years, Clean Cities has built partnerships with local and statewide organizations to encourage the adoption of alternative fuels and new transportation technology.”

Senator Lamar Alexander remarked at the recent hearing on the president’s fiscal year 2018 budget request for the U.S. Department of Energy, that supporting government-sponsored research is one of the most important investments our country can make to encourage innovation, help our free enterprise system create good-paying jobs, and ensure American competitiveness in a global economy.

Sen. Lamar remarked, “The United States produces more than 20 percent of the wealth each year for just about 4 percent of the people in the world. The Department of Energy’s research programs have made the United States a world leader in science and technology, and will help the United States maintain its brainpower advantage to remain competitive in a time where other countries are investing heavily in these areas.”

More than 550 Clean Transportation leaders signed this national letter supporting Clean Cities. This truly demonstrates the importance of broad-based support across America for this important program.

There is still a ways to go before victory is complete. The final funding level will be determined by negotiations between the House and the Senate, which could begin as early as September 2017.  It is critical that stakeholders continue to contact their members of Congress and continue to urge them to maintain funding for the important work of the Clean Cities programs.

Go here to view the Senate Energy and Water Committee report. See pages 62-63 for the language related to Vehicle Technologies and Clean Cities.  The House Report can be found here. See page 82 for the Vehicle Technologies section.

The House Appropriations Committee included $75 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emission Reduction Grants. This represents an increase over the $60 million provided in FY 2017. The Senate is expected to consider this bill in the coming weeks.

Thanks again for all of your support and good work to defend these important programs. Thank you to Transportation Energy Partners (TEP) for their tireless efforts to ensure federal funding for the important work of Clean Cities programs continues. TEP works closely with and provides policy support to the nearly 90 Clean Cities coalitions and their 15,000 stakeholders.