Central Texas Marks 20 Years of Alternative Fuels

lone-star-20The Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance in Austin, Texas this week celebrated 20 years of being green, starting before being green was cool.

The LSCFA recognized the achievements of many leaders who helped Austin cut 10 tons of greenhouse gas emissions in one year alone, and attendees had the opportunity to drive renewable energy vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and a stand-up electric police mobility vehicle.

The LSCFA, formerly known as Central Texas Clean Cities, is a non-profit coalition dedicated to reducing petroleum consumption through alternative fuels. Over the past 20 years the association has helped to clean up City of Austin fleet vehicles as well as other fleet and personal vehicles in five Central Texas counties counties. In 2012 alone, its stakeholders reduced petroleum consumption by 1.6 million gallons. Clean Cities helps to advance the alternative or renewable fuels of propane, biofuels: ethanol/E85 and biodiesel, natural gas, electric and hydrogen. It was the sixth Clean Cities coalition started in the U.S. where there are now about 90.

Special Delivery by Alternative Fuel

Bush-USPSAfter meeting with the CEOs of major automobile manufacturers on Monday, President Bush spent Tuesday taking a look at alternative fuel vehicles used by the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, UPS, and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

According to a White House fact sheet, the U.S. Postal Service has the “largest alternative fuel vehicle fleet in the world. Almost 13 percent of the 289,000 vehicle fleet are alternative fuel vehicles such as hybrids, biodiesel, compressed natural gas, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.”

UPS operates the largest private alternative fuel fleet in its industry, using more than 1,500 compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane, hydrogen fuel cell, and hybrid vehicles. Fed-Ex and the Washington Metro are using or investing in hybrid-electric diesel trucks and buses.

They note that large fleet operators like these are participating in the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program, which works through a network of more than 80 volunteer coalitions to promote alternative fuels and vehicles, fuel blends, fuel economy, hybrid vehicles, and idle reduction.

Meanwhile, an Associated Press report criticized the president for “talking, for two days in a row, about converting switchgrass and wood chips into ethanol,” instead of focusing on the congressional standoffs over Iraq and controversy over the firings of US attorney generals.

New Transporation Energy Org

A new organization is just getting itself started to “Promote Clean and Secure Energy for Transportation.” It’s the Transportation Energy Partnership (TEP). The Executive Director is Thomas Gross, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Technologies in the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office of the Department of Energy. Tom spoke at the recent Clean Cities Congress and I recorded his remarks.

TEP is the new name of the former National Clean Cities, Inc. Gross says that the mission of the TEP is to support the work of Clean Cities Coalitions nationally, primarily by obtaining new funding. Learn more about TEP by listening to his comments here: Listen To MP3 Tom Gross Comments (4 min MP3)

Before leaving the stage at the Clean Cities Congress Tom received several new memberships for TEP including a corporate one from the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute. If you’re interested to learn more you can give Tom a call at 703-273-0631. The organization address is: P. O. Box 70, Fairfax, VA 22038-0070.

Biodiesel Update

NBBThe University of Georgia is holding a Southeastern Biodiesel Workshop this week in Athens featuring a number of interesting speakers and perspectives on the fuel. Although the National Biodiesel Board was not able to be a part of this event, you might be interested in hearing a update from NBB Executive Director Joe Jobe on what is happening with this domestic fuel industry.
Jobe reports that in the last 18 months, the number of biodiesel plants in the US has grown from 22 to 65 and there are another 50 under construction. He notes that if biodiesel could replace “just five percent of the on-road diesel market, that would be the same amount of diesel fuel refined from crude oil that we get from the country of Iraq each year” – about 1.85 billion gallons.
Listen to Chuck’s interview with Joe Jobe from the Clean Cities Congress last week. Listen To MP3 Joe Jobe (5 min MP3)

Coordinator of the Year

Jonathan OverlyThe big award winner at the Clean Cities Congress was Johathan Overly, Executive Director of East Tennessee Clean Fuels (right). Jonathan won the Clean Cities Coordinator of the Year award.

Jonathan describes what the award means to him in a short interview I did just before he had to head back home. Jonathan is a full time Coordinator who’s very passionate about what he does. You can listen to my interview with Jonathan here: Listen To MP3 Jonathan Overly Interview (4 min MP3)

Domestic Fuel coverage of the Clean Cities Congress is made possible by the following sponsors:
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute Southern California Gas Company

Propane Award Winner

Ray CockrellThere were all kinds of winners at the Clean Cities Congress last week. One of them is Ray Cockrell, pictured on the left. Ray received an “Innovative Fleet” award from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). He works at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC.

Ray has worked closely with his area Clean Cities coordinator to develop the use of alternative fuels like propane in their industrial mowing program. It’s a big campus and there’s lots of mowing that needs to be done, most of which is by students. In my interview with Ray he explains the program and how propane has helped in ways you might not think of.

You can hear my interview with him here: Listen To MP3 Ray Cockrell Interview (6 min MP3)

By the way, since we’re podcasters we always like to point out others who are using this new form of internet-delivered content and one of them is PERC with their PropaneCast. Check it out!

Domestic Fuel coverage of the Clean Cities Congress is made possible by the following sponsors:
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute Southern California Gas Company

Best Clean Cities Congress Ever

Annalloyd ThomasonTo get a perspective on how well the Clean Cities Congress went this year I interviewed AFVI Executive Director, Annalloyd Thomason again before leaving.

Annalloyd says it was the best Congress ever with over 17 hundred people participating. She had only positive comments and I would say this positions next year’s event in Los Angeles very well.

You can hear my interview with her here: Listen To MP3 Annalloyd Thomason Summary Interview (7 min MP3)

Domestic Fuel coverage of the Clean Cities Congress is made possible by the following sponsors:
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute Southern California Gas Company

Concluding With Ecological Humor

Clean Cities CongressThe Congress is over but posting won’t stop. Well, maybe for a while today.

The office is being packed up around me and I think it’s time I do the same.

Our closing session featured ecological humor from Lori Weiss. She is a very funny person and she’s passionate about the environment.

To get to know more about her and hear a little bit of her humor listen to my interview: Listen To MP3 Lori Weiss Interview (6 min MP3)

Domestic Fuel coverage of the Clean Cities Congress is made possible by the following sponsors:
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute Southern California Gas Company

How to Win Over the Media

Lauren Ciemniak The Alternative Fuels Media Training Workshop was a wonderful session to attend. During these three hours, Jenna Higgins as well as a couple guest speakers, talked about how to have a successful interview with the press.

Jenna gave some wonderful tips and advice about having a clear and concise interview with the media. Here are some of the key tips you should remember when you are doing an interview.

The Media is the best way to get your message out about alternative fuels.
Remember to relate your message to your audience, you have to make an impact on them. You should always be prepared before an interview. Make a couple notes to yourself on the questions you might need to answer and always have 3-4 strong sound bites. Communicate with your body not just words. But most importantly, relax and don’t forget to breathe! When completing an interview, remember to answer in complete sentences and relate it to your audience. Be enthusiastic and correct a reporter if a question is based on incorrect information.

I learned a lot in this wonderful media training workshop and hopefully after reading this, you did too.

Domestic Fuel coverage of the Clean Cities Congress is made possible by the following sponsors:
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute Southern California Gas Company

Next Year’s Congress Location

Stage AnnouncementThe big announcement at Alice Cooper’s Town was next year’s Congress location. You can hear it in the announcement audio I have for you in this post.

It might be hard to tell from the picture but we had some masked characters from the city in question.

They all have something to do with “Tinseltown.”

Which means that next year we’ll be in Los Angeles. Listen To MP3 Closing Reception Announcement (5 min MP3)

Domestic Fuel coverage of the Clean Cities Congress is made possible by the following sponsors:
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute Southern California Gas Company

Energy Bill Roundtable

Energy RoundtableOur energy bill discussion this morning covered a lot of ground.

Over the coming days I’ll try to bring you segments of it.

To get started here’s a selection which includes each participant answering the question of what he thinks is most important piece of legislation and why.

Here’s their response: Listen To MP3 Energy Bill Roundtable (12 min MP3)

Domestic Fuel coverage of the Clean Cities Congress is made possible by the following sponsors:
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute Southern California Gas Company

Guest Speakers Speak about Alt. Fuels

Lauren Ciemniak Senator John McCain, future presidential candidate, delivered a wonderful speech on the future of alternative fuels. The United States is deeply dependent on foriegn oil. The U.S alone uses about 7.6 billion barrels of oil a year. By using alternative fuels, you reduce the greenhouse emissions. An option proposed to help our environment and economy is to raise Corporate America Fuel Efficiency standards. There are currently 5 million flex fuel vehicles on the road but more are on the way. James D. Boyd talked about domestic fuels and its problems. California is the 5th largest economy and consumer of energy in the world. California is the second largest consumer of gas and diesel, the largest consumer is the United States. Many alternative fuel vehicles will be taking up the roads in California within the next year.

Domestic Fuel coverage of the Clean Cities Congress is made possible by the following sponsors:
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute Southern California Gas Company

Clean Energy CEO Remarks

Andrew LittlefairOur energy roundtable moderator this morning was Andrew Littlefair, CEO of Clean Energy.

Before getting into the discussion he gave an overview of energy legislation.

You can hear his introduction here: Listen To MP3 Andrew Littlefair Introductory Remarks (5 min MP3)

Domestic Fuel coverage of the Clean Cities Congress is made possible by the following sponsors:
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute Southern California Gas Company

Let’s Hear From The Executive Director

Annalloyd ThomasonThe Executive Director of the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute is Annalloyd Thomason.

We heard from her on stage earlier this week and to get to know her better and learn a little more about AFVI I sat down with her for a short interview.

Annalloyd explains how she and her husband Leo, started their own company and had the opportunity to take over the production of the Clean Cities Congress a couple of years ago.

You can listen to my interview with Annalloyd here: Listen To MP3 Annalloyd Thomason Interview (6 min MP3)

Domestic Fuel coverage of the Clean Cities Congress is made possible by the following sponsors:
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute Southern California Gas Company

GM’s Reception Steals the Show

Lauren Ciemniak Did you attend Sunday night’s opening reception? If you didn’t, then you missed out on a stomping good time! From admiring the beautiful artwork, to the energizing entertainment, many people went back to their hotels smiling. General Motors gave out $20,000 to the top three Clean Cities Reward recipients. The food was great, a big hit was the cute little cakes with the GM Logo on them. Overall, the GM reception was a wonderful night, and many people had a great time!

Domestic Fuel coverage of the Clean Cities Congress is made possible by the following sponsors:
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute Southern California Gas Company