Roush CleanTech says U.S. alt-fuel legislation should be all-inclusive

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Roush CleanTech announced its support for President Obama’s National Clean Fleet Partnership program with a wide product offering of fleet vehicles powered by propane autogas. But the company says the path by which the United States can achieve the president’s goal of reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil came into question with last week’s introduction of the newest version of the NATGAS Act, which accelerates the use of one type of alternative fuel.

“An important strong national energy policy was outlined by President Obama and Secretary Chu last week that will dramatically increase the adoption of fleet vehicles powered by domestically produced alternative fuels,” says Joe Thompson, president of Roush CleanTech. “While we are supportive of all alternative fuels, we won’t be as successful in achieving the president’s vision if each industry introduces legislation that plays to their own agenda, like we saw with the introduction of the NATGAS Act. Wouldn’t we find the most success with one piece of legislation supporting all domestically produced alternative fuels?”

Obama and the Energy Department have created the National Clean Fleets Partnership, which outlines specific energy security objectives for U.S. fleets as a resource to stimulate adoption of domestic-based alternative energy such as propane autogas. The five charter members – AT&T, FedEx, PepsiCo, Verizon and UPS – have initial plans to deploy more than 20,000 advanced technology vehicles. The Energy Department is asking other companies to join the partnership voluntarily.

“The timeliness of our recent product certification through the California Air Resources Board, our product diversity and significant customer adoption patterns are ideal,” Thompson says. “We are ready, able and willing to do our part to help the nation’s fleets reduce their dependence on foreign oil – while also providing cost savings and environmental benefits.”

Propane autogas, a majority of which comes from natural gas refining process, is the third most commonly used engine fuel in the world only behind gasoline and diesel, Thompson says. “About 90 percent of what we use in the United States is made right here in the U.S.,” he says. “When reviewing the new legislation, I urge our leaders to remember that it should not be about sales or profit for any individual fuel – it’s about developing a national energy policy that incorporates all domestic sources of fuel.”

Roush CleanTech, a Michigan-based company, has existing propane autogas fuel systems for Ford F-series trucks, F-series chassis cabs and E-series vans, wagons and cutaways, with more applications on the horizon. All factory-warranted products are certified by the California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Fleet operators can use a fleet calculator to analyze fuel cost comparisons between propane autogas and gasoline based on fuel prices, vehicle mileage and federal tax credits by going to www.roushcleantech.com.

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