Stimulus funds to boost efforts to convert to propane

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine this week announced the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has appropriated significant funding for the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy’s Paving the Way with Propane: The AutoGas Corridor Development Program. The AutoGas Corridor Development Program is a unique, progressive project aimed at building the infrastructure for public and private vehicle operators to convert existing vehicles from conventional gasoline to clean propane AutoGas. 

“These Recovery funds, in addition to limiting pollution, will help Virginia and other states create new jobs in the clean fuel sector,” Kaine said. “I applaud those at the Virginia Clean Cities Program and DMME who worked hard to create this program and secure the funding for it.”

The program is receiving $8,605,100 in ARRA grant money from the Department of Energy to fund 1,064 vehicles and 17 fueling stations, creating the nation’s first AutoGas Corridor through the Southeast. A network of conversion centers with trained technicians will convert more than 1,000 active fleet vehicles to propane AutoGas Hybrids. This will result in the displacement of 15,772,100 of gallons of gasoline over the four-year project period and the establishment of a solid base of alternative fuel vehicles across the Southeast.

In addition to vehicle conversions, this program will implement more than 17 propane AutoGas fueling stations along high-impact roadways from Washington, D.C. to Florida to Mississippi in the development of the nation’s first propane AutoGas Corridor. Propane AutoGas is an alternative vehicle fuel that is here now and immediately viable. The efforts to complete this ambitious project will be carried out by companies proven to possess the experience and expertise required to develop a strong alternative fueling corridors through nine southeastern states.

AutoGas propane stations are proposed in the following Virginia locations: Arlington, Bedford, Berryville, Dulles Airport vicinity, Falls Church, Gordonsville, Harrisonburg, Powhatan, Raphine and Richmond.

“Virginia Clean Cities is ecstatic to work with DMME to help implement this ambitious project,” said Chelsea Jenkins, Executive Director of Virginia Clean Cities. “The project brings together such a diverse group of partners, all with proven expertise and enthusiasm to ensure success and future growth of propane as a viable alternative to imported petroleum.”

Virginia Clean Cities is one of nearly 90 government-industry partnerships that work to reduce America’s petroleum consumption in the transportation sector. Over the last 15 years, the Clean Cities program has established local coalitions across the country that promote the growth of alternative fuels and showcase the potential of advanced and energy efficient vehicles.

Today’s announcement comes as Governor Kaine continues to advance his “Renew Virginia” initiative—an effort to promote renewable energy, create green jobs, and encourage preservation of the environment. During his administration, Governor Kaine has incentivized the production of cleaner energy, surveyed the emissions of facilities previously grandfathered out of the Clean Air act, dedicated over a billion dollars to Chesapeake Bay cleanup, protected nearly 350,000 acres of open space, and led the effort to promote regional cooperation to combat climate change.



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