A group of Pacific Northwest businesses and nonprofits launched the Northwest Alliance for Clean Transportation on April 17. The Alliance is dedicated to helping the region reduce harmful pollutants and greenhouse emissions by encouraging use of natural gas vehicles. Alliance members include utilities Puget Sound Energy, NW Natural, Avista and FortisBC. They are joined by non-profits including Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities, American Biogas Council, and Natural Gas Vehicles for America.
“Natural gas vehicles offer a practical and cost-effective solution to some of our most severe air quality problems,” said Connor Reiten, the group’s Director of Policy and Operations. “This technology is a ready-made solution, and we need to get the word out to businesses and policy makers that this can make a big and immediate difference.”
The Alliance aims to raise awareness of the many benefits of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) to the Northwest. These range from reducing air pollution and carbon emissions to cost-savings from lower fuel prices and maintenance costs.
Goals of the NW Alliance for Clean Transportation include:
- Promoting increased use of compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), and renewable natural gas (RNG) as a transportation fuel.
- Serving as a clearinghouse for information on all things NGT. Over time, we expect to offer resources from broad educational materials to specifics on available tax credits, certifications or other programs available for such things as fleet conversions or RNG development projects.
- Organizing and executing collective industry action in legislative and rulemaking settings to benefit NGV expansion.
- Hosting and/or supporting educational events for targeted audiences.
“We must make sure policy makers understand that NGVs can be the best bet for air quality in many applications,” says Connor Reiten. “For example, natural gas is a great low-emissions alternative to diesel delivery trucks, trash haulers, school buses, and long-haul trucks. This technology offers the torque necessary to haul heavy loads, the environmental benefits needed to exceed nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions requirements, and the low-cost fuel stock needed to make this a win-win.”
The benefits of natural gas vehicles can be multiplied with the use of renewable natural gas (RNG). RNG is methane captured from waste treatment facilities, food processors and cattle operations. It offers even more environmental benefits, especially with respect to greenhouse gases, where it can offer up to a 115% GHG reduction over diesel. Many waste haulers and public transit companies already use RNG, and it is increasingly available for fleets across the country.
“We are very excited about bringing news about NGVs to more people and businesses in the Northwest,” Reiten said. “Reducing air pollution and carbon emissions are things we all can agree on.”
Source: NW Alliance for Clean Transportation