The Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition Can Strengthen Your Community‚Äôs Resilience

The Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition (CCFC) offers the networks, solutions, and tools to help communities in the greater Charlotte region be their most resilient.

In a recent report, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy defined resilience as a community’s reduction of and better preparation for risk.  The components of risk – and thus resilience – can be divided into hazards, vulnerability, and capacity to cope.  With North Carolina being no stranger to hazards such as hurricanes and ice storms, community resilience infrastructure should be made a priority for the safety of our communities for both man-made and natural disasters.

As this region’s representative of the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Program – one in a network of nearly 100 local coalitions nationally – the CCFC’s long-term mission is to advance the nation’s economic, environmental, and energy security by supporting local actions to cut petroleum use in the transportation sector. These efforts all serve to strengthen community resilience in our region.

It is important to include alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) in community resilience planning efforts since they promote fuel diversification, allowing critical public services to continue, reducing recovery time, and strengthening resiliency to disasters and other emergency events.  

The CCFC tracks funding opportunities to help municipalities, regions, and states incorporate alternative fuels in their emergency management planning. In addition, Clean Cities coalitions and coordinators are a valuable resource to emergency management and fleet decision makers by providing information on alternative fuels and connecting them with stakeholders who have experience using alternative fuels.  

According to the National Association of State Energy Officials, petroleum products provide 92% of the total energy needed to supply the transportation sector in the United States.  This dependence on petroleum makes communities vulnerable to disasters and emergencies that interrupt petroleum fuel supplies.  

The CCFC has been assisting the greater Charlotte region for over a decade in the deployment of alternative fuel technologies.  Here are several ways that alternative fuels/AFVs impact or help community resilience:

  • Encourage fuel diversification;
  • Improve response time and recovery and restoration capabilities;
  • Meet essential public services during times of disaster (e.g., utility restoration, debris removal, evacuation, emergency response, food delivery);
  • Mitigate demand spikes for petroleum fuels;
  • Allow uninterrupted fuel supply (e.g., natural gas is distributed via underground pipeline, so delivery is not disrupted);
  • Advanced vehicle technologies, such as electric vehicle-to-grid can become a power provider;
  • Reduce downtime and suppress negative economic impact; and
  • Improve public confidence in government capability to provide services in times of disaster.

For more information, case studies of local and national successes, tools and strategies about alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, infrastructure and their uses in emergency situations contact Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition Coordinator Jason Wager at jwager@centralina.org or visit our website at www.4cleanfuels.com



Related Counties: AllCounties     
Related COG Areas: COGWide