Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Energy Department Grant Will Promote Nat Gas Vehicles in Philadelphia Area

Jose R. Aguirre / Getty Images

A public bus in Madrid, Spain pulls into a natural gas fueling station. The U.S. lacks sufficient infrastructure for a full scale conversion to natural gas, and propane powered vehicles.

The Department of Energy has awarded the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission $319,000 to promote the use of natural gas, propane, and electric powered school busses and trash trucks throughout the Philadelphia region. The DVRPC directs regional cooperation among four counties in Pennsylvania, and four in New Jersey.

The DOE says the grant will be spent to “help cut red tape, and develop the infrastructure, training and regional planning” necessary to convert municipal fleets. One of the greatest challenges to converting vehicles such as trucks, or even passenger cars, to natural gas is the lack of a nationwide infrastructure. But school districts and large municipalities can create their own fueling stations.

“Building a clean and secure U.S. transportation system that leverages our domestic energy sources will give American families, businesses and communities more options and reduce fueling costs,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a press release.  “At the same time, these projects will help lead the way to further reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and protecting our nation’s air and water.”

The effort is part of Obama’s “all of the above” energy strategy.

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