It was a mild and breezy evening on Fulton Street Alley in New Orleans, where several supporters and stakeholders who hope to make a difference in the world via alternative fuels came together for an award ceremony presented by Louisiana Clean Fuels (LCF).
LCF is a designated U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Coalition, and that evening, in the historic setting of New Orleans just along the winding Mississippi, they honored several supporters and partners who are not only embracing the use of clean fuels, but are also actively making a difference by sponsoring events such as the Louisiana Road Show and National Drive Electric Week events across the state.
The ceremony took place at Manning’s which is known for its great food, good drinks, and awesome customer service. Via these awards, LCF Executive Director Ann Vail recognizes the exceptional achievements of Louisiana Clean Fuels stakeholders who work nonstop to help Louisiana reduce petroleum and fuel emissions. The meal and ceremony were sponsored by ROUSH CleanTech.
In the press release, Ann Vail said, “LCF is proud to honor these outstanding organizations and to recognize the achievements of clean fuel stakeholders who have gone above and beyond in reaching their environmental and transportation goals.”
One of the first awards that were given out was to a group of Louisiana Tesla Owners that I’ve had the pleasure of being a member of for a little over a month. The group is called Tesla Louisiana — Owners And Dreamers. It’s a statewide group of people who love Tesla.
Ann Vail recognized the group for excellence in community service and their volunteerism. The Tesla owners in this club volunteer to bring their cars to workshops and “Ride & Drive” events in order to educate people about Tesla and share their Tesla experiences.
Full List Of Award Recipients
Clean Fuel Champion — Republic Services
Executive Director Ann Vail gave out awards to over a dozen clean fuels stakeholders that night. The highest honor, the Clean Fuel Champion, went to Republic Services for its part in reducing more than 19,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018. Republic Services uses compressed natural gas (CNG) in LCF’s territory to fuel their refuse trucks. They also reduce emissions and fuel usage through methods such as idle reduction, vehicle miles traveled reduction and fuel economy improvements.
“We are truly honored to receive this award,” said Sharon Mann, General Manager for Republic Services. “Our company is dedicated to the environment, and we are very proud of this accomplishment. We are dedicated to continuing to help our environment and looking forward to continuing our commitment along with saving the planet.”
Editor’s note: Much better, in my opinion, is for garbage trucks to go electric. It’s actually a great segment for electrification. But hey, I’m not (yet) in charge of giving out such awards.
United Parcel Service (UPS)
UPS received the Clean Fuel Champion Runner-UP award for the second-highest reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2018, they helped reduce over 800 tons of GHGs. The vehicles in LCF’s territory that UPS operates are fueled by biodiesel, propane, and natural gas. Their sustainability goals include sourcing 40% of their ground fuel from low carbon and alternative fuels by 2025. Another goal is to have 25% of their annual vehicle purchases be alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. Read more about UPS commitments and progress here.
Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) was honored for its Corporate Leadership for its efforts to support the development of an electric vehicle charging corridor along Louisiana’s interstate highways. SWEPCO supports LCF in many ways, including sponsoring both the DC Fast Charging Master Plan and the Louisiana Electric Vehicle Road Show. SWEPCO also went above and beyond in uniting community leaders across the state along with major utilities to submit proposals for funding for EV chargers from the state’s Volkswagen Settlement Plan.
“We’re proud to partner with Louisiana Clean Fuels and honored to receive the 2019 Corporate Leadership Award,” said Chelsea Adcock, Consumer Programs Marketing Coordinator for SWEPCO, who accepted the award on SWEPCO’s behalf. “LCF has been a valuable resource as we determine the most effective and efficient way to bring electric vehicle infrastructure and hopefully, Electric Vehicle Alternative Fuels Corridors to Northwest Louisiana and its residents.”
The Paretti Family of Dealerships
The Paretti Family of Dealerships was honored with the Dealership of the Year award for its part in promoting electric vehicles and participating in LCF’s events throughout the year. The Paretti Family of Dealerships has been an outstanding sponsor of the Louisiana Electric Vehicle Roadshow in addition to showing its Jaguar I-PACE at several events, including National Drive Electric Week.
“The Paretti Family of Dealerships is committed to the sustainability and the future of electrification transportation,” said Mike Rase, Vice President of the Paretti Family of Dealerships. “As we look at Jaguar and Land Rover’s long-range production forecasts, it’s easy to see that EVs are here to stay. In fact, we have invested over $100,000 in EV infrastructure alone, not to mention the training of multiple EV Specialists as well as technicians. It’s an honor to be receiving this special award.”
Waste Management’s fleet received an award for having the Largest Growth by Volume of alternative fuel usage. Their CNG usage grew by more than 300,000 GGEs in 2018.
Editor’s note: Again, it’s a shame Waste Management is spending time in the middle step of CNG rather than jumping into EVs, but expect awards to eventually be for electrification of such fleets and further carbon reductions (plus maintenance and operation savings as well as happier drivers).
Eagle Distributing of Shreveport was honored with The Most Improved Fleet Award for growing their usage of alternative fuels by 2018 — they grew their CNG usage by ten times over 2017’s numbers.
Editor’s note: Are you noticing a trend?
Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ)
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and Secretary Dr. Chuck Carr Brown were honored for their Leadership in Public Service in recognition of LDEQ’s hard work on the VW Mitigation Settlement and their efforts with alternative fuel corridors. Louisiana has been one of the first states in the country to implement and fund diesel emission reduction projects under the VW Settlement. Also, the LDEQ has successfully worked with the DOTD to not only get our interstates approved for signage under the FWHA’s Alternative Fuel Corridors program but to get them installed as well.
“LDEQ supports the work Louisiana Clean Fuels does to promote the use of alternative fuels and zero-emissions vehicles in our state,” Dr. Brown said. “We are all working toward a cleaner environment, and we have made great progress in Louisiana. LCF’s efforts have been key to achieving those gains.”
Other awards were given out as follows:
- Both Stone Oil and AmeriGas were awarded the “Top in Class” award for their Idle Reduction programs. Stone Oil reduces the emissions of marine vessels while they are docked in their ports by allowing the vessels to plug in to “shore power” and turn off their diesel engines. AmeriGas’s own idle reduction policies and equipment reduced the amount of fuel they wasted when the vehicles were parked, resulting in the largest fuel savings for any on-road fleet in our territory.
- Ferrellgas was honored for reducing the most Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) by simply optimizing its routes. This resulted in a massive reduction of fuel use for the company, not only reducing its fuel cost but also reducing the emissions that would have been emitted by driving the longer routes.
- Commuter Krewe was honored for its work to reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicles driving in the Baton Rouge area. Carpooling reduces the number of vehicles on the road and consequently helps reduce traffic congestion and vehicular emissions.
- The Entergy E-Tech program was awarded “Most Innovative Incentive Program” for its electrification rebate program for its utility customers. Entergy customers can easily apply for a rebate by simply replacing large gaseous equipment with electric ones (ex: electric forklifts) or by installing electric vehicle charging stations (level 2 or 3).
The following were also recognized for their efforts in reducing emissions and conserving fuel:
- Best Performing Municipality without Transit: St. Landry Parish
- Best Performing Municipality with Transit: Shreveport (SporTran)
- Best Performing School District: East Baton Rouge Parish
- Most CNG Used: Republic Services
- Most Propane Used: UPS
- Most E85 Used: LDEQ
- Most Renewable Natural Gas Used: Waste Connections
- Most Electric Used: SporTran
- Above and Beyond Award: Jeff Cantin, President of Solar Alternatives