For Immediate Release: April 22, 2009
Media Contact: Susanne Garfield - 916-654-4989

California Energy Commission Adopts
Far-Reaching Green Transportation Plan
State to use federal stimulus money to help transform California fuels and vehicles

SACRAMENTO -- The California Energy Commission today took action to change the face of California's fuel and vehicle types by adopting the state's first transportation Investment Plan.

"The Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program provides much needed funding to support deployment of clean fuels and vehicles," said Energy Commission Chairman Karen Douglas. "It also provides a unique opportunity to help California compete for billions of dollars in federal stimulus dollars."

The Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program's Investment Plan allocates $176 million over the next two years to stimulate green transportation projects and encourage innovation to help meet the state's aggressive climate change policies.

"Vehicles are the major contributor to global warming pollution. More than 38 percent of the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in California come from burning gasoline and diesel in cars and trucks," said Vice Chair James Boyd. "The Investment Plan promotes sustainable development. With it, California is embarking on a fundamental transformation of its transportation system to substantially decrease greenhouse gas emissions and petroleum use."

The Alternative and Renewable Fuels Vehicle Technology Program was established by Assembly Bill 118 (Núñez, Chapter 750, Statutes of 2007) and is an essential element of the California's climate change and energy policies. The state is aggressively working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, decrease petroleum fuel use to 15 percent below 2003 levels by 2020, and increase alternative fuel use to 20 percent by 2020. Achieving these multiple objectives will require a portfolio of new fuels and vehicle technologies including electric drive and fuel cell vehicles, low-carbon biofuels, gasoline and diesel vehicles with far greater fuel economy, and natural gas and propane vehicles.

AB 118 authorizes the Energy Commission to provide approximately $120 million annually over seven years to develop these new fuels and technologies, ensure that they are accessible to the public, and encourage motorists and fleet operators to purchase new advanced vehicles.

In its newly adopted Investment Plan, the Energy Commission proposes to expand the use of low carbon fuels and cleaner vehicles that are available today and open up the market for the more exotic technologies that are required in the future. Over the next two years, the Energy Commission will invest $46 million for electric vehicles, public charging stations, and manufacturing plants; $40 million for hydrogen fueling stations; $12 million for advanced ethanol fuel production facilities and E-85 fueling stations; $43 million for natural gas vehicles, fueling stations and biomethane production facilities; $6 million for advanced renewable diesel and biodiesel facilities; and $2 million for propane vehicles. The Investment Plan also directs $27 million go to fund workforce training programs, research, public education and technical assistance programs.

"This program will provide an economic stimulus to create California jobs and businesses by encouraging the invention and in-state production of the fuels, technologies and services necessary for the future transportation system," commented Vice Chair Boyd."

The Investment Plan recognizes the importance of leveraging existing federal, state and local funding with public and private cost sharing. The Energy Commission's first AB 118 grant solicitation, released April 22, is focused on those who are applying to the federal government under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the funding of transportation projects.

A public workshop will take place April 27 at the Energy Commission in Sacramento to discuss the solicitation's objectives, process, timeline, and the potential projects that could be funded with AB 118 and ARRA funds.

The Investment Plan is available at www.energy.ca.gov/proceedings/2008-ALT-1/documents/index.html#042209

More information regarding the April 27 public workshop including how to attend by WebEx or by phone-in is available at www.energy.ca.gov/proceedings/2008-ALT-1/notices/2009-04-27_staff_workshop.html

The Grant Solicitation is available at: www.energy.ca.gov/contracts/

Parties interested in the AB 118 program are encouraged to sign up for the ListServer at: www.energy.ca.gov/proceedings/2008-ALT-1/

More information about the Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program is available at: www.energy.ca.gov/altfuels/

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