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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

For Immediate Release
December 18, 2009

Comptroller Awards $11 Million in Alternative Fuel Project Grants

(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Susan Combs announced today 14 governmental entities in the state have been selected for $11 million in competitive federal stimulus grants promoting alternative fuel use in government vehicles. The grants will be administered by the Comptroller’s State Energy Conservation Office as part of the Transportation Efficiency Program.

“I commend all the entities selected for the Alternative Fuels Project grants,” Combs said. “They have made a strong commitment to cut down on vehicle emission pollution and improve air quality in their areas. The geographic diversity of the awardees also ensures that Texans in different regions will see the benefits.”

Grant recipients can use the stimulus funds for their public vehicle fleets. The funds can pay for the incremental cost of buying alternative fuel vehicles, which is the price difference between a standard vehicle and an alternative fuel vehicle. Entities can also use the grants to convert their vehicles into alternative fuel vehicles and to buy equipment for alternative refueling stations. Eligible alternative fuels include natural gas, propane, hydrogen, ethanol, electricity and biodiesel.

The Comptroller’s office has selected the Railroad Commission of Texas for the largest grant award, $3.1 million. The Railroad Commission will use the grant and matching funds to place 282 propane-fueled school buses and medium- and light-duty vehicles in 19 Texas public fleets — encompassing school districts, universities and a rural transit fleet. It will also upgrade existing propane refueling facilities for seven of the fleets. More information on fleets that will benefit from the grant is available at www.seco.cpa.state.tx.us/arra/sep/transportation/index.php.

The Comptroller’s office also selected the following entities for Alternative Fuels Project grants: North Central Texas Council of Governments, $2.5 million; Mansfield Independent School District, $1.8 million; city of Laredo, $924,000; city of Austin, $607,209; city of Houston, $500,000; City of Corpus Christi Gas Department, $400,000; Sun Metro/City of El Paso Mass Transit Department, $396,180; city of El Paso, $256,000; University of Texas at Austin, $200,000; city of Dumas, $107,800; city of San Antonio, $90,000; Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, $56,000; and Port of Corpus Christi Authority, $15,237.

“Improving air quality is an issue many Texas communities want to tackle,” Combs said. “Converting fleets to alternative fuels will help the entities meet their goals, and these grants will help offset the cost.”

Find more information on Alternative Fuels Project grants at www.secostimulus.org.

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