ARB Considers Alternative Fuel Incentives
ARB Considers Alternative Fuel Incentives Expedited development of alternative fuels received a as the Air Resources Board (ARB) considered options on how to best spend $25 million allocated by new state legislation to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
“With the threat of global warming and today’s unstable political climate affecting our resources, fully exploring use of alternative fuels is a top priority,” says ARB Chairman Dr. Robert F. Sawyer. “Thanks to forward thinking and sound science, California sets an example for the country and for the world. We are excited by all the possibilities and challenges ahead, and hope that our efforts will help to further diversify and enhance our future energy options.”
California Assembly Bill 1811, which amends and supplements the Budget Act of 2006, directs the ARB to develop a joint plan with the California Energy Commission (CEC) to spend $25 million to provide incentives for the use and production of alternative fuels. The proposed allocation amounts were guided by the budget language and input from ARB and the CEC. The legislation requires the funds to be awarded by June 30, 2007, and no funds can be awarded for projects that include fuels derived from petroleum, coke or coal.
As proposed to the Board, the $25 million will be generally allocated as follows, with final amounts assigned on a project-by-project basis:
* $8.5 million for alternative fuel vehicles (including demonstration programs for plug-in hybrids and clean transit buses);
* $7 million for fueling infrastructure (including incentives for E-85 and other alternative fuels);
* $5 million for biofuels production;
* $3.5 million for fuel/vehicle research (including emissions testing and vehicle performance and vapor recovery certification), and
* $1 million for education.
A public workshop on the funding program was held in September that drew more than 100 participants. Solicitations for projects are expected to be sent out in January 2007, with decisions on the final slate of projects to be made next spring. All funds must be expended by June 30, 2009.
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The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.