Question of the Month: What are the top 10 resources for reliable and unbiased information about alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, and other petroleum reduction strategies?
Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC): http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/
The AFDC is a comprehensive clearinghouse of data, publications, tools, and information related to alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, idle reduction, fuel economy, and other petroleum reduction strategies. The AFDC Tools page (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/applications.html) is a one-stop-shop for links to tools, database searches, calculators, and interactive maps available through the AFDC, including the Alternative Fueling Station Locator, Vehicle Searches, Incentives and Laws Search, and Publications Search.
Clean Cities: http://www.cleancities.energy.gov/
The national Clean Cities website includes links to relevant news, events, and publications; program and coalition contacts; financial opportunities; and Coordinator Toolbox resources.
Fueleconomy.gov allows users to search for fuel economy information for light-duty vehicle models through the Find and Compare Cars tool. In addition, the website includes a search tool for cars that don’t use gasoline, verified gas mileage tips, and the Your MPG fuel economy tracking tool.
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)’s Alternatives to Traditional Transportation Fuels: http://www.eia.gov/renewable/alternative_transport_vehicles/index.cfm
EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates information about energy production and use in the United States. On an annual basis EIA publishes their Alternatives to Traditional Transportation report, which summarizes data on the number of alternative fuel vehicles supplied and in use, and the amount of alternative fuel consumed. Please note that the data published is generally two-years delayed; 2010 data will be available in the spring of 2012. EIA also publishes data on conventional fuel prices and production, as well as other topics of interest.
DOE’s Energy Policy Act (EPAct) Information
The following DOE websites provide information about EPAct regulatory activities:
a. EPAct Transportation Regulatory Activities: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/epact/index.html
This website provides information on vehicle and fuel use requirements for state government and alternative fuel provider fleets, as well as the EPAct definition of an “alternative fuel.”
b. Federal Fleet Management: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/program/fedfleet_management.html
This website provides information about federal fleet requirements under EPAct and other regulations.
DOE National Laboratories
The DOE national labs perform research, implement programs, and publish documents related to alternative fuels and advanced vehicles. A full list of labs and technology centers is available on the DOE website: http://energy.gov/offices. The labs involved with Clean Cities include Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, National Energy Technology Laboratory, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Clean Cities Coalitions
Coalitions around the country are deploying alternative fuels and advanced vehicles, educating their stakeholders and the public, and engaging their communities. The coalition websites and coordinator contact information listed on DOE’s Clean Cities website (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/cleancities/coalitions/coalition_locations.php) are great resources for information and case studies. You may also reach out to the coordinator listserv with specific questions.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): http://www.epa.gov/
EPA administers a number of different programs aimed at reducing vehicle emissions. For example, the EPA website features information on the following:
a. Alternative Fuel Conversion Regulations (including an Excel spreadsheet of EPA-compliant conversion systems): http://epa.gov/otaq/consumer/fuels/altfuels/altfuels.htm
b. Renewable Fuels Standard: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/index.htm
c. Aftermarket Retrofit Device Evaluation “511” Program: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/consumer/reports.htm
Other Federal Government Agencies
Several other federal government agencies implement programs and regulations related to alternative fuels and advanced vehicles. These agencies include the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; U.S. Department of Agriculture; and U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The AFDC Incentives & Laws database provides information and links for additional information about federal incentives, laws, regulations, and programs by agency at the following website: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/laws/fed_summary/Agency.
State and Local Government Agencies
State and local government agencies are great resources for information about regulations and programs in your area. The National Association of State Energy Officials maintains a list of state and territory energy office websites and contacts (http://www.naseo.org/members/states/). Likewise, the EPA posts a list of state and territorial environmental agency websites (http://www.epa.gov/epahome/state.htm). In addition, many state agency contacts are listed on the AFDC State Incentives and Laws website (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/laws/state).
Industry associations and nonprofit organizations can also provide useful information specific to certain fuel or technology types or issue areas. For example, NAFA Fleet Management Association (http://www.nafa.org/) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (http://www.iclei.org/) can be helpful resources.