In a ribbon-cutting ceremony today, the federal government opened its first multi-alternative fuel service station. The station, owned by the Navy Exchange Service is located in Arlington, Va., next to the Pentagon. Development of the station has been the result of a joint effort of several federal agencies, non-government organizations and commercial entities. Participants in the opening ceremony included Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Environmental Security) Sherri W. Goodman; Assistant Secretary of the Navy Robert Pirie; Deputy Secretary of Energy T. J. Glauthier; Executive Director of the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition Phillip Lambert; and President of the Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition Richard Kolodziej.
The station will service federal vehicles with two clean-burning alternative fuels: ethanol (a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline), and compressed natural gas. Cars, trucks and buses contribute 50 percent of urban air pollution. Alternative fueled vehicles produce substantially less pollution than conventionally fueled vehicles and reduce greenhouse gases.
In addition to significant environmental benefits, the use of alternative fuels enhances our national security by reducing our dependence on imported petroleum products. Currently, the United States imports more than 50 percent of its petroleum requirements. If current trends continue, this reliance could grow to more than 70 percent in the next 20 years.
"This station will benefit the region - the District, Maryland and Virginia -- not just the federal government. We expect an estimated 200,000 gallons of ethanol fuel to be pumped out of the Pentagon site in the first year alone," said Glauthier. "These numbers will increase when three additional refueling sites for flexible-fuel vehicles come on line later this year in the Washington, D.C. area."
This station will help federal agencies meet the goals of President Clinton's executive order signed on Earth Day 2000. The executive order, "Greening the Government through Federal Fleet and Transportation Efficiency," requires agencies to reduce their fleet's petroleum consumption by at least 20 percent by the end of fiscal 2005. Agencies have numerous options for developing a strategy to meet the petroleum reduction levels. The Department of Defense will use alternative fuels as the cornerstone of its plan to meet the 20 percent reduction requirement.
The president, in his radio address on Earth Day, discussed the station and said, "The station is the first of seven gas stations offering those fuels here, and I'll order every White House vehicle that can use these fuels to make the switch." The president estimated that his "executive order will cut oil consumption by 45 million gallons a year, help stop global warming and ease pressure on gas prices."