Increased use of alternative-fuel vehicles lowers 2011 gasoline consumption levels in northern Indiana

July 23, 2012  


MERRILLVILLE, Ind. - There were fewer greenhouse gases emitted and less gasoline consumed in northern Indiana counties in 2011 as municipal and corporate entities were encouraged by a nonprofit organization to incorporate alternative-fuel vehicles in their fleets.

According to South Shore Clean Cities Inc., northern Indiana government agencies, municipalities, companies and nonprofit administrations across 18 counties reduced gasoline consumption by 11,167,705 gallons and greenhouse gas emissions by 87,123 tons during 2011. The information is listed in South Shore Clean Cities' 2011 Annual Report to the U.S. Department of Energy.

South Shore Clean Cities stakeholders operate in the Indiana counties of Benton, DeKalb, Elkhart, Fulton, Jasper, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Lake, LaPorte, Marshall, Newton, Noble, Porter, Pulaski, St. Joseph, Starke, Steuben and Whitley. They include municipalities like Elkhart, South Bend and Valparaiso; nonprofit organizations like the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission; and businesses like ArcelorMittal, Schwan's Home Services, Tube City and U.S. Steel.

Carl Lisek, executive director of South Shore Clean Cities, said alternative-fuel vehicles were the single greatest factor behind the levels of reduced consumption and emissions.

"We can link the use of alternative-energy vehicles with 98 percent of the reduction in gasoline consumption and 97 percent of the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions," he said. "These vehicles are powered by fuels like biodiesel, compressed natural gas, electricity, ethanol and liquefied petroleum gas."

Lisek, who also is co-founder of Purdue Research Park-based Legacy Environmental Services, said 2011 was a strong year for South Shore Clean Cities for outreach activities across northern Indiana and receiving grants from local, state and federal sources.

"Representatives of South Shore Clean Cities attended more than 70 events across the state in 2011," he said. "We expanded our reach by creating a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to share information about our events, our members and alternative-fuel information.

"We secured $12,566,281 in funds from 16 grants and contracts in 2011. Grants and contracts included the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Indiana Office of Energy Development and the U.S. Soybean Board."

Lisek explained how the general public may benefit as northern Indiana agencies, municipalities and companies continue to reduce their gasoline consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

"When the nation can reduce its dependence on imported petroleum, our quality of life improves as our economic and energy security is strengthened," he said. "As our environment becomes cleaner, people's health and livelihoods may also improve. South Shore Clean Cities and our stakeholders are determined to continue this trend for the long term."

About South Shore Clean Cities

Designated as the 71st Clean Cities Coalition on June 15, 1999, South Shore Clean Cities Inc. was founded on the principle that motivated individuals working together for common goals best accomplish our nation's objectives. In almost 100 coalitions, government agencies and private companies voluntarily form partnerships that meet the objectives of improving air quality, developing regional economic opportunities and reducing the use of imported oil.

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park, with four locations across Indiana, has the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The park network is home to about 200 companies that employ 4,000 people and are located in West Lafayette, Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany.

Purdue Research Park contact: Steve Martin, 765-588-3342, sgmartin@prf.org

Source: Carl Lisek, 219-644-3690, southshorecleancities@gmail.com

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