Wolf administration gives $2.7M to cleaner transportation projects, including ones powered by fossil fuels

Some environmental advocates say the program is outdated.

A Mack LR Electric trash truck is parked

A Mack LR Electric trash truck is parked outside the state capitol on Sept. 28, 2021. (Rachel McDevitt/StateImpact Pennsylvania)

This story originally appeared on StateImpact Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is giving more than $2.7 million dollars to transportation projects that promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants are awarded to projects that replace gasoline or diesel-fueled vehicles with ones that run on cleaner fuels, which can be fossil fuel-based.

The Department of Environmental Protection announced the 18 chosen projects in a news release Friday. Of those, four will use the money to buy natural gas-powered school buses or delivery trucks and one will build propane refueling stations.

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The rest of the projects are focused on building electric fleets, building electric vehicle charging stations, and researching batteries for use in EVs.

The School District of Philadelphia is getting the largest share. It plans to use $600,000 to buy six electric school buses.

EC Power Group in Centre County gets the next largest, with $418,000 to aid research into high performance, lower cost batteries.

Executive director of PennEnvironment David Masur called the program “antiquated” for allowing investments in new fossil fuel vehicles and said it should be updated to make sure money goes to efforts that will make the greatest emissions cuts.

“We need to stop climate change and we keep investing in things that cause climate change,” Masur said.

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The Wolf Administration said projects are anticipated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 600 metric tons per year.

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