April 22, 2009

CARDIN JOINS VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN FOR EARTH DAY ANNOUNCEMENT OF $300 MILLION IN RECOVERY ACT FUNDS FOR CLEAN CITIES PROGRAM

Maryland to receive funds for converting buses to alternative fuels and hybrids

LANDOVER, MD - In celebration of Earth Day 2009, U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, visited the WMATA Carmen Turner Maintenance and Training Facility in Landover, MD, with Vice President Joe Biden, Governor Martin O'Malley, and Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4) for the announcement of $300 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for state and local governments, and transit authorities to expand the nation's fleet of clean, sustainable vehicles and the fueling infrastructure necessary to support them. 

 

 "For city and state governments across this country, every day is Earth Day thanks to the ambitious commitments they are making to green their vehicles and transit systems.  Now it's time for Washington to help them deliver on those promises," said Vice President Biden.  "From advanced battery cars to hybrid-electric city buses, we're going put Recovery Act dollars to work deploying cleaner, greener vehicles in cities and towns across the nation that will cut costs, reduce pollution and create the jobs that will drive our economic recovery."

 

"We are living in a critical time in our nation's history.  We face an economic crisis, an energy security crisis, and a global climate crisis. The Recovery Act has already begun to put Americans to work undertaking the essential task of reducing our use of energy and our dependence on foreign oil, which will strengthen our economy and security.  It will also boost investments in clean renewable energy generation from the wind, sun, and other clean sources," said Senator Cardin. "Funds from programs like the Clean Cities Alternative Fuel and Advanced Technology Vehicles Pilot Program will allow us to develop new sectors in our economy that will provide high-paying jobs here in America and technologies and services we can export aboard." Senator Cardin's full Earth Day statement is available at cardin.senate.gov .

 

The Clean Cities Alternative Fuel and Advanced Technology Vehicles Pilot Program will speed the transformation of our nation's vehicle fleet, help to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy security by helping reduce U.S. dependence to foreign oil. This funding adds to the $11 billion already announced by the Department of Energy to bolster state and local government energy efficiency programs and weatherize low-income homes.

 

The Clean Cities Program offers $300 million to support at least 30 alternative fuels or advanced vehicles projects and requires a 50 percent participant cost share. Technologies eligible to be funded include a number of different light and heavy-duty vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in electric hybrid, hydraulic hybrid, electric, fuel cell, and compressed natural gas vehicles. In addition, projects can support refueling infrastructure for alternative fuels, including biofuels and natural gas. Other efforts eligible for funds include public awareness campaigns and training programs on alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and infrastructure.

 

"Sustainability, particularly in terms of stabilizing and reversing Global Climate Change before it is too late, may very well prove to be the defining economic, environmental, and moral issue of our times," said Governor O'Malley.  "One of the boldest, most innovative, most forward-looking parts of the President and Vice President's vision for economic recovery and reinvestment, is their belief that we can fuel our country's economic engine by revolutionizing the way we fuel our cars, trucks, buses, trains and airplanes. Here in Maryland, where the $610 million in transportation investments we're receiving from the Obama-Biden Administration are supporting an estimated 17,000 jobs, federal investments are helping us advance toward a goal we've set of transitioning a full 40 percent of our state vehicle purchases to alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles by 2010."

 

"On this Earth Day, I am proud to join Vice President Biden, Gov. O'Malley, and Sen. Cardin in announcing funds from the Recovery Act to be used for the Clean Cities Petroleum Reduction Technologies Project," said Rep. Donna F. Edwards . "This funding exemplifies the dedication of the Obama Administration and this Congress to invest in the development of alternative fuel technology and infrastructure.  These efforts will help spur economic development through job creation in Maryland and across the country, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels." 

 

Clean Cities is a government-industry partnership led by the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy that promotes the growth of alternative fuels and showcases the potential of advanced fuels and vehicles. The existing program has helped put more than half a million alternative fuel vehicles on the road and played a role in the construction of thousands of alternative refueling stations. Earlier this year, Maryland was able to accelerate purchase of the hybrid-electric buses with the help of Recovery Act funds and, as a member of the Clean Cities program, the state would be eligible to apply for additional funds needed to meet their goal through the pilot program announced today.

For more information on Clean Cities, please visit www.eere.energy.gov/cleancities .

 

The pilot projects will be funded with money appropriated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Administration expects these projects will create tens of thousands of U.S. jobs. More information on the Recovery Act and all projects funded by it are available at www.recovery.gov .