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Alternative Transportation Fuels
 
The United States has spent about $12 trillion on crude oil imports since the oil embargo in 1973.  Foreign oil purchases by the United States in 1998 exceeded  $50 billion for all uses. Nearly 70 percent of the oil imported into the United States is consumed in the transportation sector. The transportation sector is responsible for over half of the nation’s air pollution. 
 
In Oregon there are over 3.1 million motor vehicles registered for roadway use. Oregonians spend more than $2 billion for transportation fuels each year. Transportation is Oregon’s single largest contributor to poor air quality, more than each of these other energy use sectors: industry, business and commercial, residential or energy production.
Alternatives to gasoline and diesel play a role in meeting our objectives of cleaner air, reducing demands on foreign petroleum and diversity of transportation fuel. The alternative fuels identified in federal mandate legislation are: ethanol, methanol, electricity, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, bio-diesel, hydrogen, or hybrid vehicles using a number of fuels. Many of these transportation fuels burn cleaner, come from renewable sources and originate in North America. Safely producing biodiesel or ethanol from renewable resources can be done in Oregon. Facilities making biodiesel are  already here and ethanol facilities are not far behind
 
A balanced approach is needed to meet Oregon’s air quality and transportation efficiency objectives. Alternative transportation fuels provide fuels can provide lower emissions, cost savings and insulation from petroleum price variance. Purchasing more efficient lower emission gasoline powered vehicles provides benefits similar to alternative fuels, most often at a lower first cost.  Reduction in the miles traveled in both fleet and private vehicles proves to be the most beneficial action.  
 
As part of a national effort, fleet managers in Oregon and Southwestern Washington are collaborating to share information and fueling infrastructure for these new fuels. The Columbia Willamette Clean Cities Coalition serves communities of the Willamette Valley from Eugene to Vancouver Washington and from Hood River to St. Helens. The Rogue Valley Clean Cities Coalition serves Grants Pass, Medford, Phoenix, Talent, White City and Ashland. First chartered in 1993, these groups provide education, share technical information, promote alternative fuel use and help members reduce the cost of new fueling systems.
 
For more information on Oregon incentives for using alternative transportation fuels contact Rick Wallace, rick.wallace@state.or.us or Matt Hale, matt.hale@state.or.us at the Oregon Department of Energy at 503-378-4040.
 
 
Other Links

 
 

National Clean Cities Program

Alternative Fueling Station Locator


Alternative Fuels Data Center

California Air Resources Board

Society of Automotive Engineers 
 
Federal Hybrid Electric Vehicle Program
 
Case Studies