New report calls for increased alternative fuel vehicle research, incentives

An organization called Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), made up of former military leaders and business executives, released a report yesterday that finds the United States is too reliant on foreign oil for transportation fuel. (I know, I know–stop the presses!)

The report calls for increased federal incentives and research spending to diversify our transportation energy sources, especially in the areas of alternative fuel vehicles.

From the Hill:

The report noted the U.S. has amassed a $1.7 trillion deficit in crude oil and petroleum trade since 2007, which accounts for more than half the total trade deficit during that time.

“The excessive reliance on oil exposes the entire economy to the vagaries of the global oil market at a cost that has become increasingly unsustainable. Oil dependence is one of the greatest threats to U.S. national security, and it deeply undermines our ability to achieve and enduring period of American growth and prosperity,” the report said.

The report suggested increasing federal energy research and development spending, especially in the areas of electric vehicles and alternative fuels, such as natural gas and “advanced” biofuels made from non-edible feedstocks.

The SAFE report also recommends creating six “deployment communities” where the use of alternative fuels and electric vehicles would be aggressively promoted. These chosen communities would act as experimental “laboratories” to help researchers discover what works and what doesn’t when it comes to AFV adoption with consumers and the transportation sector.

Waste Management CEO David Steiner noted that the lack of refueling infrastructure to support alternative fuel vehicles remains a major challenge to the spread of clean vehicle technology in the U.S. Prohibitively expensive infrastructure may be a roadblock for CNG and EVs, but propane autogas fueling stations are actually a fraction of the cost of CNG stations. And with financing options from Alliance AutoGas for onsite fuel stations and autogas vehicle conversions, fleets can get up and running on this American-made clean fuel and start saving on lower fuel costs right away.

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