This week, the American Clean Skies Foundation (ACSF) issued a new report that urges the federal government to switch its transportation contractors to carriers that fuel on domestic fuels such as natural gas. According to ACSF, the federal government spends nearly $150 billion annually on transport services, and it could save as much as $7 billion annually by switching just 20 percent of its business to carriers who fuel on domestic alternative fuels. “The 55-page ACSF report—Oil Shift: The Case for Switching Federal Transportation Spending to Alternative Fuel Vehicles—finds that shifting federal transportation contracts to vans and trucks running on alternative fuels could: reduce oil imports by billions of gallons annually; cut greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution by over 20 million metric tons a year; and stimulate the nationwide introduction of tens of thousands of new alternative fuel vehicles.”
The report recommends that federal policy require shippers to follow requirements similar to those already imposed on federal agencies. Federal agencies are required to purchase alternative fuel vehicles, reduce petroleum consumption, and increase their use of alternative fuels. The report points out that the transportation services sector actually provides a much larger opportunity for cost savings, petroleum reductions, and emission reductions than the already targeted federal fleets. To realize the budget and environmental benefits described above, the ACSF report makes three main recommendations.
- Starting in 2014, federal agencies should publish annual targets and initiatives for buying more alternative fuels, reducing petroleum, and lowering emissions associated with major transport services.
- Starting in 2015, agencies should require major carriers to use alternative fuels for at least 5 percent of contracted shipments (measured in ton-miles). This requirement should increase by at least 2 percent each year from 2015 to 2025.
- Starting in 2016, federal agencies should publish annual targets and initiatives for using more alternative fuels, reducing petroleum, and lowering emissions associated with transportation services used by major vendors to deliver products to the government (i.e., for vendor contracted shipping services not covered by the prior recommendations).
Established in 2007, ACSF seeks to advance America’s energy independence and a cleaner, low-carbon environment through expanded use of natural gas, renewables, and efficiency. To view the full report, go to http://www.cleanskies.org/oilshift/. For more information, contact ACSF’s Jack Deutsch at firstname.lastname@example.org.