This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

October 12, 2005

New Mexico, North Carolina Governments to Employ Alternative Fuels

Recent actions in New Mexico and North Carolina will increase the use of alternative fuels in those states. In New Mexico, Governor Bill Richardson signed an executive order in late September requiring cabinet-level state agencies, public schools, and institutions of higher education to meet 15 percent of their transportation fuel needs with ethanol or biodiesel by 2010. The order also requires those agencies and schools to buy alternative-fuel or hybrid vehicles for 75 percent of their vehicle purchases each year. The governor also signed an order requiring state agencies to reduce their fuel use, and urging the rest of the state to follow suit. See the governor's executive orders.

In North Carolina, Governor Mike Easley signed a bill into law in late September that will create a fund to allow state agencies to purchase alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure. The state currently earns credits through the Energy Policy Act of 1992 because of its purchases of B20 (a blend of 20 percent biodiesel with diesel fuel) by its Department of Transportation and E85 (a blend of 85 percent ethanol with gasoline) by the State Motor Fleet Management. Senate Bill 1149 allows the state to sell these credits, generating funds that will further increase the state's use of alternative fuels. It also extends to 2011 a 35 percent tax credit for renewable energy equipment, expands the residential credit to include solar pool heating, and raises the nonresidential credit ceiling by a factor of ten, to $2.5 million. See the related press release from the North Carolina Solar Center and see the full text of the bill on the North Carolina General Assembly Web site.

Meanwhile, Minnesota became the first state to implement a statewide biodiesel requirement in late September. All diesel fuel sold in the state now contains at least 2 percent biodiesel. According to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), the state now leads the nation with its annual biodiesel production capacity of 63 million gallons. See the NBB press release (PDF 39 KB). Download Adobe Reader.