Because of its historic commitment to oil production, most people would not consider North Texas a hotbed for alternative fuels, but the region has options for almost every gasoline alternative. It boasts more than 150 electric vehicle charging locations, 16 compressed natural gas (CNG) stations, 64 propane stations and 16 ethanol stations available to the public.
In 1995, DFW Clean Cities became one of the first Clean Cities organizations under the Energy Policy Act provision for organizations that promote the use of alternative fuels to lessen America’s dependence on foreign sources of petroleum. DFW Clean Cities works closely with municipalities, counties, transit authorities and other organizations to ensure they are doing everything
within their power to improve transportation efficiency.
As the Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition works to reduce petroleum consumption using alternative fuels and advanced technologies, the region is experiencing large decreases in greenhouse gases. Improving air quality in North Texas has become a vital necessity, because 10 counties in the region persistently exceed the national ambient air quality standards for ozone, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
DFW Clean Cities also encourages idle-reduction technology as a way to cut emissions and reduce fuel consumption. Onboard auxiliary systems power several dozen police vehicles and other fleet vehicles in the region as a way to cut fuel costs and reduce unnecessary idling. Several cities in North Texas have adopted a policy that limits idling for heavy-duty vehicles to five minutes. Lightduty and heavy-duty hybrid vehicles are another option for reducing emissions and petroleum consumption. This type of vehicle is available from almost every auto manufacturer, and can provide much-needed fuel economy improvements for vehicle owners and fleet operators.
Together with Air North Texas, a regional air quality public awareness campaign coalition, DFW Clean Cites educates the public about how clean vehicles and advanced technologies can improve air quality for all North Texans. Reducing emissions through clean technology choices not only improves air quality, but also protects public health and welfare, improving the quality of life for all.
Kenny Bergstrom is a communications specialist for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, working on Air North Texas and DFW Clean Cities. For more information on these programs and to sign up for air pollution watches and warnings, visit AirNorthTexas.org.