Top White House Environmental Advisor Gets Firsthand Look at Newport News Clean Propane Autogas Fleet

| Source: Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Aug. 9, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality visited Newport News Wednesday to highlight the City's energy efficiency investments, including 22 propane autogas fleet vehicles converted under the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program. Newport News expects to save $22,000 annually on fuel costs with the clean autogas vehicles, which have already eliminated more than 11 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Nancy Sutley, the President's principal environmental advisor, along with U.S. Representative Bobby Scott, Mayor McKinley Price and other local officials, toured the Newport News Vehicle & Equipment Services Department to get a firsthand look at the 12 propane-powered Ford Crown Victorias and 10 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 trucks. They also visited a recently constructed city fire station with several water conservation and energy efficiency features.

"It's exciting to see one of our Program 'success stories' in the spotlight, and we thank federal and local partners for their support," said Alleyn Harned, Executive Director of Virginia Clean Cities, which administers the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program. "Program fleets running on autogas have eliminated nearly 2,000 tons of greenhouse gases total and displaced around a million gallons of gasoline so far. It's important to highlight initiatives like SPADP that are encouraging U.S. fleets to use domestically produced clean fuel."

Newport News is one of more than 35 regional fleets participating in SPADP, which is helping fleets in 10 Southeast states, Denver and Pittsburgh switch to clean, American-made propane autogas. Autogas burns 30 percent cleaner than gasoline and currently saves fleets around $1.50 per gallon on fuel costs. Since 98 percent of our nation's autogas is made in America, fleets like Newport News are also displacing thousands of gallons of imported oil by utilizing a domestically produced fuel.

"Autogas is a good fit for our fleet," said Vehicle Services Director Bob McElheney. "We're saving on fuel costs, reducing vehicle emissions, the infrastructure cost is lower than for other alternative fuels, and vehicle performance has actually improved. We were fortunate to receive some funding assistance with SPADP. However, because of the significant fuel savings we're seeing with autogas, we intend to purchase more propane autogas-capable vehicles in the future."

About the Program

The Program is putting more than 1,200 clean autogas vehicles on the road and implementing more than 10 Program-funded fueling stations, as well as more than 20 fueling stations funded by partner Alliance AutoGas. Fleets in the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program have eliminated nearly 2,000 tons of greenhouse gases and displaced around 1 million gallons of gasoline so far. Supported by funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities Program, SPADP is it is managed and administered by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and Virginia Clean Cities at James Madison University. Alliance AutoGas provides fueling infrastructure and conversion equipment for Program fleets, with fuel supply from founding Alliance partner Blossman Gas. Visit for more information.

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