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Politics & Government

Bill Aims to Spur Growth in Alternative Fueling Stations Along Nation’s Highways

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has announced a plan he says would spur growth of alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure.

The so-called Clean Vehicles Corridors Act would result in more fueling stations across interstate highways, thereby making it easier for alternative fuel vehicles to travel longer distances.

“The way it will work is the U.S. Transportation Department, in consultation with the Energy Department as well as other federal agencies, will designate highway routes where the development of an alternative fuel support system will succeed,” Casey said.

Casey said through the bill, incentives would be offered for locating fueling stations along designated routes. He said the ultimate goal is to have publicly-accessible re-fueling stations available to all users at distances within easy range between major metropolitan areas. This, he said, would help increase the already-growing usage of alternative fuel vehicles.

“We know that a lot of companies and municipalities and consumers are already switching to vehicles run by alternative fuels,” Casey said. “In the United States over 315,000 vehicles used alternative fuels in 2010."

Casey said by increasing usage of such vehicles, the United States can move away from fossil fuels, helping spur a more comprehensive energy future for the country.

“The more that we’re less dependent on foreign oil, the more independent we’re going to be, the less we’re dependent on foreign oil, the more our economy can remain stable and our job base can remain stable and growing,” he said.

Alternative fuel vehicles include compressed natural gas vehicles, vehicles that run on biofuels and electric vehicles, among others. In addition to designated “clean vehicle corridors,” the bill would allow states to modify HOV/HOT lane restrictions to accommodate vehicles using alternative fuel and allow for the creation of designated parking spaces for alt-fuel vehicles.