WASHINGTON CITY, UTAH - Several southern Utah mayors gathered Nov. 12 at the office of Automobile Association of America in Washington City to show support for converting their fleets to alternative fuels that include natural gas, electricity, ethanol, and biodiesel, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
City of Ivins Mayor Chris Hart, one of the attendees, said he hopes to cut the southern Utah city's $25,000 annual fuel budget in half by converting the city fleet to the clean burning fuel.
AAA earlier announced that Zion National Park (with Utah Clean Cities Coalition) was one of the recipients of the Association's Greenlight grants. The grant, totaling $10,000, will be used to help purchase hybrid vehicles and propane shuttle fleets for the park's fleet in order to reduce emissions and demonstrate that alt-fuel vehicle use can save money in fuel and maintenance costs, according to AAA.
Robin Erickson, southern director of Utah Clean Cities, said the Coalition is using a $19 million grant it received last year from the U.S. Department of Energy to promote alternative fuels through education and partnerships with governments and business to develop refueling stations for the alternatives. One education process is the promotion of non-idling policies.
Erickson said interstates 15 and 80 in Utah are getting attention as some of the biggest trucking corridors in the country. Three refueling stations will soon be available to offer commercial trucks liquified natural gas. The first will open in December in Salt Lake City. Two others will be built later.
Utah already has more than 20 natural gas filling stations, mostly along I-15. In addition, five stations in Salt Lake City that will be built beginning later this month to charge batteries in electric vehicles.
Rolayne Fairclough, spokeswoman for AAA, said Utah has the second best infrastructure in the country after California for supporting the emerging technologies. Fairclough said vehicle manufacturers are now providing 60 models that run on alternative fuels, reported the newspaper.