Dec. 14, 2018
San Joaquin Valley Clean Cities Coordinator Linda Urata, Louisiana Clean Fuels Coordinator Ann Vail, New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition Coordinator Chuck Feinberg, and Centralina Clean Fuels Coordinator Jason Wager are the latest inductees to be named to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Clean Cities Hall of Fame, which recognizes outstanding contributions to advance alternative fuels and advanced vehicles in U.S. transportation across the nation.
National Clean Cities Director Dennis Smith and Co-Director Linda Bluestein inducted the four into the Clean Cities Hall of Fame on November 7, 2018, while at the Florida Solar Energy Center, where representatives from nearly 100 Clean Cities coalitions across the country gathered for the annual Clean Cities Coordinator Training Workshop.
Under these coordinators’ leadership, in 2016 alone their coalitions had a cumulative energy use impact greater than 27 million gasoline gallon equivalents and averted over 116,000 tons of emissions through use of alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, fuel efficiency, and idle reduction measures. The energy impact reflects both reduced fuel use and increased fuel diversity. Reduced fuel use makes our transportation system more energy efficient, while increased diversity through domestic alternative fuels provides consumers and business more energy choices. These accomplishments have contributed to the national network of Clean Cities coalitions’ cumulative impact in energy use greater than 8.5 billion gasoline gallon equivalents since the first coalition was designated in 1993. As a result, coalition projects have also improved local air quality and contributed to cleaner transportation options throughout the nation.
Urata, Vail, Feinberg, and Wager have each earned the respect of their community and stakeholders over the years for their credibility, extensive knowledge, and passion for alternative fuels and advanced vehicles.
With cleaner air always an objective, Urata worked closely with the Kings Canyon Unified School District to introduce the first production model eTrans Electric School Bus in the nation. She was also instrumental in developing the Propel Biofuels station in Fresno; in introducing first responder and technician training; and bringing liquefied natural gas trucks and compressed natural gas (CNG) and hybrid transit buses to her region. Most recently, Urata’s impressive successes include working to inform stakeholders about the Volkswagen Settlement plan for California, developing outreach efforts to include materials in Spanish, and including Fresno as a target city for alternative fuel expansion.
As a coordinator, Vail garnered the support of both the state and the Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuels Partnership shortly after assuming the role as coordinator to successfully expand the coalition’s territory in Louisiana. In her time with Clean Cities, Vail has expertly guided Louisiana Clean Fuels’ stakeholder base through dramatic growth and increased their alternative fuel use from mere thousands in 2012 to upwards of 8 million gallons per year. She has also been a proponent of ensuring the continued operation of a landfill gas operation in Louisiana. More recently, Vail has been actively involved with the state of Louisiana’s planning efforts for the Volkswagen Settlement, and extending her expertise to their state website, mitigation plan, and public notices.
Feinberg has developed a reputation for his keen technical skills and willingness to collaborate with others when he successfully managed an $18 million grant. Through the grant he put more than 300 CNG vehicles—including refuse haulers and jitneys, or small buses—on the road, and oversaw the installation of six CNG stations across the state. More recently, he developed and administered a program to repower unregulated marine engines with less polluting, more fuel-efficient Environmental Protection Agency-certified Tier 2 & 3 engines. The new engines are expected to result in a 15%–16% improvement in fuel economy, and estimated diesel fuel savings of 4 to 5 million gallons during the lifetime of the engines.
A staunch advocate of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles, Wager has worked tirelessly to advance collaborations among Clean Cities coalitions in North Carolina, the Southeast, and nationwide. In recent years, this collaboration helped to establish alternative fueling and charging infrastructure along national highways in North Carolina and neighboring states. His current leadership has also resulted in a first-of-its-kind Autonomous Vehicle Readiness Planning strategy, including a three-part community engagement workshop. The effort led to creation of the Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Roadmap.
To read more about these accomplishments, visit the Clean Cities Hall of Fame.