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Clean Cities Celebrates Two Decades of Success

June 27, 2013

In 1992, the Energy Policy Act directed the U.S. Department of Energy to establish a program to coordinate government and industry efforts to use alternative fuels in transportation. The following year, the U.S. Department of Energy launched Clean Cities and officially designated its first six coalitions, located in Atlanta, Denver, Philadelphia, Delaware, Las Vegas, and Washington, D.C. These pioneers, and the dozens more that followed on their heels, began reaching out to local stakeholders on a mission to reduce petroleum use and to strengthen the nation’s economic, environmental, and energy security.

"From the very beginning, I knew Clean Cities would be successful," said National Clean Cities Co-Director Linda Bluestein, who helped run an alternative fuels information hotline in the program’s early days. "The coordinators were so committed to making this work in their local communities, and they were so excited about the possibilities offered by new vehicle technologies—I just knew this had to work."

Two decades later, Clean Cities boasts nearly 100 coalitions, covering 74% of the country’s population. The number of public- and private-sector stakeholders involved in the local coalitions and the national program as a whole has grown to almost 13,000, and their projects are transforming local and regional transportation markets. Most notably, the program has helped place more than 660,000 alternative fuel vehicles on the road and saved more than 4.5 billion gallons of petroleum. In 2011 alone, Clean Cities activities helped to avert more than 5.8 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

More Information
For more information about the Clean Cities 20th anniversary, read the latest issue of Clean Cities Now and visit the Clean Cities website. Learn more about NREL's support to Clean Cities.