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Virginia Governor Releases Energy Plan, Touts Alternative Fuel Use

This week, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe unveiled the 2014 Virginia Energy Plan. In outlining his strategy, the governor said, “The plan we are rolling out today is focused on growing our energy economy (particularly in the renewable sector), emphasizing energy conservation, strengthening our energy infrastructure and training the workforce we need for the future.” Like President Obama, Governor McAuliffe has touted an “all of the above energy strategy” that includes promoting drilling for natural gas as a way to increase energy independence and secure more reliable supplies of energy.

The plan also includes a number of provisions relating to alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles. Among the recommendation in the report are the following:

• State agencies and localities should purchase vehicles that use non-traditional sources to meet the transportation needs of the Commonwealth’s public sector.
• The Commonwealth will work to create and promote additional public private partnerships to double the total deployment of all types of alternative fuel refueling infrastructure for state fleet and public motoring use.
• Virginia should work to publicly recognize high-impact alternative fuel vehicle fleets for their emissions reductions and fuel savings by creating a Governor’s Green Fleet Award.
• Virginia should facilitate consumer and business adoption of efficient alternative fuel vehicle technologies by making incentives available for the purchase of low or zero emissions vehicles to bolster pace of transition.
• Virginia should identify state resources to fund alternative fuel education and deployment programs.
• The Commonwealth should support the continued use of the gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) for CNG when it is used as an on-road vehicle motor fuel.

In recent years, Virginia has moved to increase its support for NGV programs. The state’s Department of General Services has signed a public-private partnership with Clean Energy to assist the state in developing fueling infrastructure and converting vehicles to operate on natural gas. The Energy Plan indicates that Virginia will accelerate its purchases of alternative fuel vehicles by using CMAQ funding to pay for the incremental cost of such vehicles. The entire report is available here.