Advancing Clean Fuels in the Centralina Region

2023 marks 30 years since the establishment of the Clean Cities Program through the Department of Energy (DOE). Since their creation in 1993 through the Energy Policy Act, Clean Cities coalitions have achieved a cumulative impact in energy use equal to nearly 13 billion gasoline gallon equivalents, made possible through the implementation of various diverse transportation projects. Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition (CCFC) is one of over 75 coalitions nationwide that work at the local level to advance clean, affordable transportation fuel technologies and systems along with energy-efficient mobility systems. This past month, our CCFC team was out and about in our region and beyond, championing issues surrounding clean energy and enhanced mobility.

Megan Upchurch attended a workshop in D.C. through the DOE’s Clean Cities Equity and Environmental Justice Initiative. CCFC is one of 17 Clean Cities Coalitions participating from across the United States in these equity and environmental justice-focused training. This second session of the six-session workshop focused on best practices for developing a community transportation needs assessment. Information from these workshops will help inform the work the future Community Engagement Liaison will be leading here at Centralina Regional Council, including developing a community transportation needs assessment in our region. 

Our Clean Cities Intern, Melissa Jamison, attended a local town hall where DOE Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm spoke about the impact of switching from gasoline to battery-powered vehicles to align to the United States long-term goals of lowering heat-trapping pollution levels. Melissa had the opportunity to ask Secretary Granholm about the role the Clean Cities Coalitions can play in building trust with underserved communities and ensuring environmental justice can meet the needs of clean transportation. Secretary Granholm expanded on how the DOE’s grant reviewal process includes in-depth reviews on communities workforce plans and community benefits agreements to determine allocation of funds. She also detailed the tax credits solar developers earn for working in disadvantaged communities (up to 60%), along with the allocation of 40% of federal investments funding through Biden’s Jusitce40 Executive Order. Granholm’s appearance in our region was one of her stops on her “People Powered Summer Road Trip”, which is one of a series of trips made by members of the Biden Administration to discuss his economic agenda.

Visit the CCFC website to learn more about their work and ongoing projects. You can also learn more about the Clean Cities Program through their page on the DOE’s website.