Nebraska Providing Rebates to Replace 62 Dirty Diesel School Buses With Clean Autogas

(September 9, 2019) — The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) said in August the state is awarding more than $2.6 million in rebates to schools across the state to assist in the replacement of older diesel school buses. The funded projects include 60 public school dis- tricts, one private school, and one bus contractor serving a public school district.
ROUSH CleanTech school bus
Each project will replace one older diesel bus with a new bus with lower emissions, said Jim Macy, NDEE director. The department initially planned to fund 32 rebates but because of high demand all 62 applicants received funding. “The department received a large number of applications from schools across the state,” Macy said. “The funds available for this program give us the opportunity to provide financial assistance to schools that will help reduce harmful diesel emissions.”

However, of the 62 school bus recipients, only 10 opted to use their rebate to purchase a propane-powered bus. The remaining 52 chose a new diesel-fueled variant. The rebates were funded by Nebraska’s share of the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Mitigation Trust. Trust funds may be used to replace diesel vehicles and engines in order to reduce emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides, which may have direct adverse health effects as well as contribute to the formation of ozone.

Nebraska’s Volkswagen projects are expected to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions
by more than 14 tons. The 10 school districts replacing diesel buses with pro- pane models are purchasing buses that meet California nitrogen oxide emission standards that are much stricter than current federal standards.

Funding for the bus rebates include the remain- ing portion of Nebraska’s Volkswagen funds that NDEE previously earmarked for school bus replacements, plus $1.354 million from the funds designated for eligible actions based on demand. The department is wrapping up 40 projects from the 2018 school bus rebate program. Over a two-year period, about $4.36 million in Volkswagen State Trust funds will be spent to replace 102 diesel school buses, reducing nitrogen oxide emissions by nearly 28 tons.

Corn Crop Showing Consistent Growth, But 2 Weeks Behind

(September 6, 2019) — The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) writes that the U.S. corn crop is showing consistent growth in the eastern corn belt, but it remains about two weeks behind schedule compared to an average season. Meanwhile, soybeans have a better ability to recover from adverse conditions, said Michael Newland, director of agri- culture business development at the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).
Corn Crop Showing Consistent Growth, but two Weeks Behind for corn grain propane LPG drying reports BPN the propane industry's leading source for news and inforamtion since 1939
And while crop harvests may be later in the year due to widespread Midwest flooding last spring, the volume this year remains unclear. In the meantime, weather forecasts through fall have everyone buzzing in the agriculture sector. NPGA and PERC are encouraging propane marketers to communicate with their agriculture customers early and often during the crop-drying season.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) publishes weekly progress reports on planting, fruiting, harvesting, and overall conditions of crops from April to November. The reports summarize selected crop progress by state. NPGA notes that the progress of crops is a helpful point of information in anticipating the demand for pro- pane at harvest time. NPGA Reports summerizes the USDA crop progress tallies, in addition to Inventory Trends data to assist propane marketers in their winter preparations.

(SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, Sept. 9, 2019)

Green Fleet Winners Recognized at Conference; Alliance Autogas Fleets Receive 5 Awards

Winners of the 2019 Green Fleet Awards were announced in a ceremony just prior to the third annual Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference in early August at the Durham Convention Center in Durham, N.C. The awards program recognized fleets for their peak-performing fleet operations in North America and South America. Alliance AutoGas participated in the conference.

Five Propane Autogas Fleets Win the 2019 100 Best Fleets Awards Alliance Autogas has five of top 100 reports Butane-Propane News the propane industry's leading source for news and information since 1939Currently in its 12th year, the program’s 100 Best Fleets identifies and encourages increasing levels of performance improvement and innovation within the public fleet industry. Rankings are based on multiple factors, including fuel emissions, fleet composition, supporting programs, and fleet utilization. Five of the fleets recognized this year were Alliance AutoGas customers. They included DeKalb County, Ga., ranked 10th; Cobb County, Ga., 27th; city of Raleigh, N.C., 33rd; and Prince George’s County, Md., 43rd. The city of Roanoke, Va. received an honorable mention.

Prince George’s County is a large county near Washington, D.C. boasting a population 863,000 and is the second most-populated county in the state. “Our county has put a lot of time and resources into running an efficient, eco-friendly fleet,” said Richard Hilmer, fleet manager. “It’s exciting to be rewarded for those efforts. We consider our county to be a leader in best practices for the fleet community. Being one of the early adapters of autogas, we had the opportunity to share what it could do for other fleets in our area.”

Speakers at the event included Stuart Weidie, president of Alliance AutoGas, and Ed Hoffman, president of Blossman Services, the technology and distribution partner of Alliance AutoGas. “These types of events look toward the future, focusing on what opportunities we have to improve transportation and to improve emissions,” Weidie said at a mobility solutions panel. “I would like to step back, though, to look at today, as we are not just in the vehicle side of alternative fuel operation. Our company, Alliance AutoGas, provides vehicle conversion systems, installs refueling infrastructure, and delivers fuel supply to fleet customers across 46 states currently.”
DeKalb County police dept fleet wins 2019 Top 100 best fleet awards with alliance autogas fleets winning five awards reports BPN the propane industry's leading source for news and information since 1939
Happy Fox, alternative fuel consultant at Alliance AutoGas, added, “The Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference plays a big role in highlighting industry-leading sustainable fleet practices and alternative fuel opportunities. We were extremely proud to have customers be recognized in different areas of the country. Alliance AutoGas looks forward to help- ing more fleets make the transition to operating on autogas.”

China Imposes Additional 5% Tariffs on U.S. Propane, Butane

(September 5, 2019) — China has imposed additional 5% tariffs on imports of U.S. propane and butane, the State Council’s Tariff Commission said in a statement Aug. 23 on the Ministry of Finance website, S&P Global Platts reports. The tariff on butane took effect Sept. 1, while the tariff on U.S. propane will take effect from Dec. 15, 2019.

china imposes additional five percent tariffs on propane LPG reports Butane-Propane News the propane industry's leading source for news and information since 1939This takes the tariff on each fuel to 31%, as China has already imposed 26% tariffs on them. They
are part of a new set of levies on $75 billion worth of U.S. import goods that will be implemented in two batches from Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods announced Aug. 15.

Beijing has also added American crude oil to its tariffs list for the first time. China imposed a 5% tariff from Sept. 1. U.S. shipments to China have made up about 6% of America’s total crude exports on average this year, according to data from the Department of Energy and the Census Bureau.

ATA Hails Release of Proposed HOS Changes

(September 5, 2019) — The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is welcoming the release of proposed changes to the nation’s hours-of-service rules by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, noting the changes are intended to improve safety on the country’s highways while providing additional flexibility for professional drivers.

American Trucking Association welcomes changes to USA's hours-of-service rules by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration affects propane delivery drivers reports BPN the propane industry's leading source for news and information since 1939.“Secretary Chao and administrator Martinez are to be commended for their commitment to an open and data-driven process to update the hours-of-service rules,” said ATA president and CEO Chris Spear. “We look forward to studying and understanding how these pro- posed changes will impact our industry so we can provide relevant data and information to strengthen and support a good final rule that bolsters safety and provides drivers needed flexibility.”

ATA remarked the proposed rule maintains the regulation’s core principles. “In the 15 years since the last major revisions to the hours-of-service, we as an industry have learned a great deal about how these rules impact our drivers,” said ATA chairman Barry Pottle, president of Pottle’s Transportation. “The valuable experience and data we’ve gained over that time will make it easier to provide flexibility for drivers to get additional rest and find parking while keeping our highways safe.”