As you may already know, Clean Fuels Ohio is a Clean Cities coalition, established 15-years ago in 2002. But now, the federal budget for fiscal year 2018 (FY18) that begins October 2017 proposed by President Trump would zero out and eliminate the Department of Energy (DOE) Clean Cities program. Elimination of Clean Cities is particularly worrisome to us, our counterparts and thousands of stakeholders throughout the country.
Clean Cities was created in 1992 during the administration of President George H.W. Bush following the Energy Policy Act of 1992. The Clean Cities budget has held steady at $34 million per year for the past two fiscal years, a relatively small budget compared to other federal programs. But the impacts of the program have been profound:
Displacement of over 2.5 billion gallons of petroleum-based fuels. The rate of displacement has grown each year, and it is on pace to achieve an annual reduction of 1 billion gallons by 2020.
Exponential private and local invest of about $12 for every $1 in federal spending that comes from the set aside federal budget.
Clean Cities features a unique, on-the-ground market-based approach. The DOE and federal energy lab resources facilitate activities of 87 local and state-based coalitions that provide technical assistance, educate fleet organizations and consumers, and serve as information clearinghouses and market connectors. Most of the budget is used to provide competitive grants and provide a variety of tools and resources used by fleet organizations, local policy-makers and others. A small portion supports Clean Cities coalitions directly, but most funding for coalitions is raised privately and locally.
As executive director of Clean Fuels Ohio, and the president of Transportation Energy Partners, a group that educates on the work of Clean Cities across the country, I see Clean Cities as the tip of the spear for all efforts to diversify transportation energy sources and technologies beyond petroleum. Just reflecting on our own efforts in the state of Ohio, we’ve leveraged the Clean Cities program to focus our organization on an “all-of-the-above” strategy that includes efficiency, natural gas, propane, electricity, biofuels, hydrogen and more. All of these energy sources and technologies are providing significant economic benefits to Ohio.
And obviously, our sentiment about losing the Clean Cities program is shared across our national network.
“Killing the Clean Cities program would devastate America’s efforts to diversify our energy resources,” said Ken Brown, consultant to Transportation Energy Partners. “We’re doing all we can to help our Congressional representatives understand the negative economic and jobs impacts this would have across the country.”
We are asking our members and supporters to get this message across to Ohio’s members of Congress.
Please help by contacting your representative.