OPINION: State Steaming Ahead with Alternatively Fueled Vehicles

By Governor Martin O'Malley

Last week, I joined Vice President Biden in celebrating Earth Day and announcing a federal grant program through the Department of Transportation that will make federal recovery dollars available to municipalities to promote the purchase of alternatively fueled vehicles through the Clean Cities Program. The Clean Cities initiative advances the energy, economic, and environmental security of the United States by supporting local decisions to adopt practices that reduce the use of petroleum in the transportation sector.

In Maryland, we came together this past legislative session and set an ambitious goal to reduce carbon emissions 25% by 2020. That’s why, working together as One Maryland, we passed landmark clean cars legislation, set aggressive goals for reducing energy consumption 15% by 2015, and led the charge for the first-in-the-nation cap-and-trade auction of greenhouse gas emission credits.

Maryland has already purchased 1,415 ethanol fueled vehicles, 191 compressed natural gas vehicles and 47 hybrid vehicles in use across the state. Our State is on track to purchase 200 to 250 alternatively fueled vehicles each year, almost a quarter of the annual fleet purchase of 900 to 1000 vehicles per year. And in the coming years, the Maryland State Police will replace the fleet of 1,800 sedans used by troopers with ethanol (E-85) alternatively fueled vehicles.

It is our hope that we will be the first generation to leave our environment in better condition than we found it. And with Maryland’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, our ambitious Smart, Green, & Growing agenda, and our clean cars legislation, we are leading the nation’s efforts in sustainability. Working together, we can begin to see a shared, sustainable future for us all.

I'd love to hear from you on this or any issue. Feel free to e-mail me at mom (at) gov.state.md.us and let me know your thoughts.

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