The way we move through America is getting a makeover in 2022 — and propane is playing a significant role in this change for the better.
Recently, President Joe Biden signed sweeping 1.2 trillion dollar new federal infrastructure legislation, which aims to improve our roads, bridges, and transport systems.
Propane has proven itself an ally for life improvement in many ways. It reliably powers everything from farm equipment to clothing dryers at a more affordable cost than electricity. That means amenities that might otherwise put a financial strain on a family or business are much more attainable.
Not only that, but propane does all this while being environmentally friendly. It’s been recognized as an approved green fuel since the Clean Air Act of 1990 for its low carbon emissions.
So it’s only natural that as our infrastructure makes updates to join the new generation, propane plays a role in it.
Of course, not everyone already knows the benefits of propane, which extends to Congress. An early draft of the infrastructure plan left propane off the list of alternative fuels. But once the legislative affairs department of the National Propane Gas Association presented the data on propane to Congress, they added it.
“We had to explain why propane was a viable alternative fuel in the transportation sector and highlight the fact that electricity and hydrogen don’t have solutions in the medium- and heavy-duty space,” NPGA’s Michael Baker says. “And if Congress doesn’t find a way to provide government incentives to adopt propane or natural gas, they’re going to put more diesel trucks on the road for the foreseeable future.”
(Diesel produces more harmful air pollutants and greenhouse gases than propane.)
Surprisingly, it’s a good thing that propane was left out of the deal in the first place. Rather than just using the 1990 Clean Air Act as a reference — although it’s a valid one, to be sure — having the government look at the facts and continue to affirm propane’s advantages and safety 30 years later is impactful.
And to that end, the propane industry now has access to 9 billion in funds to improve the way we move:
-2.5 billion dollars in grant funding is available to create propane refueling stations along the nation’s highways
-Access to 2.5 billion dollars in grant funding for the clean propane school bus program. Compared with diesel buses, Propane buses reduce nitrous oxide by 96 percent and carbon dioxide by 13 percent and provide greater comfort to students.
They make less noise, smell better, and warm up faster in cold weather. Not to mention that they’re a quarter of the cost of electric school buses, meaning school districts can afford to replace more of their fleet and achieve carbon reduction goals faster.
-Access to $1.6 billion in grant funding for general transportation buses and bus facilities, which will enjoy the same advantages as propane school buses
-Inclusion in an apprenticeship pilot program that’s based on the DRIVE-Safe Act. This program seeks to address the nationwide driver shortage by allowing a trial group of drivers ages 18-21 to work in interstate commerce.
-Access to $2.5 billion in grants for emissions reduction at port facilities. Propane at trade ports fuels generators and tractors while producing fewer emissions and cost approximately $200,000 less than electric models — meaning ports can afford to replace more of their fleet and reach carbon reduction goals more quickly.
As well as federal funding for workforce development and propane-powered ferries.
It’s an exciting time to be a part of the propane industry or even a regular propane user. The infrastructure bill and federal grants improve efficiency on every level — time, money, and our environment.
“The inclusion of propane really highlights the fact that Congress has an understanding of the role propane can play in reducing emissions,” the NPGA’s Baker says.
Want to get professionally involved?
Check out our career options at paracogas.com/careers.
Want to see how propane can improve your life?
Talk to a specialist at paracogas.com/contact-us.