Bill includes Clean Cities funding to support alternative fuels

By Erin Voegele | March 25, 2021

Legislation introduced by the 32 democratic members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 11 could provide federal funding to support the development of alternative fuel infrastructure and expanded use of alternative fuel vehicles.

The bill, titled the Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America Act, or LIFT America Act, aims to modernize the nation’s infrastructure, rebuild the economy, combat climate change, and protect public health and the environment. It includes more than $312 billion in investments for clean energy, energy efficiency, drinking water, broadband, and health care infrastructure.

One provision of the bill authorizes the Clean Cities Network Program and provides $375 million for fiscal years 2022-2026 to support expanded development of alternative fuel infrastructure and expanded use of alternative fuel vehicles.

The text of the bill stipulates that 30 percent of allocated funds are to be used to make awards to designated Clean Cities Coalitions for administrative and program expenses of the coalition, while 50 percent of funds are to be distributed as competitive awards to designated Clean Cities Coalitions for eligible projects and activities that reduce petroleum consumption, improve air quality, promote energy and economic security, and encourage deployment of a diverse, domestic supply of alternative fuels in the transportation sector by encouraging the use of alternative fuel vehicles and alternative fuels, including by fleet managers; expedite the establishment of local, regional, and national infrastructure to fuel alternative fuel vehicles; advance the use of other petroleum fuel reduction technologies and strategies; conduct outreach and education activities to advance the use of alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles; provide training and technical assistance and tools to users that adopt petroleum fuel reduction technologies; or collaborate with and train officials and first responders with responsibility for permitting and enforcing fire, building and other safety codes related to the deployment and use of alternative fuels or alternative fuel vehicles.

The bill defines alternative fuel to mean methanol; denatured ethanol; other alcohols; a mixture containing at least 85 precent of methanol, denatured ethanol and other alcohols by volume with gasoline or other fuels; natural gas; liquefied petroleum gas; hydrogen; coal derived liquid fuels; fuels, except alcohol, derived from biological materials; electricity, including electricity from solar energy; and any other fuel the secretary of transportation prescribes by regulation that is not substantially petroleum and that would yield substantial energy security and environmental benefits.  

Additional information is available on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce website