,

Monitoring the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

To our valued Clean Cities Members, Stakeholders and Colleagues:

The Utah Clean Cities Team is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and understands that these are trying times. It is the priority of our organization to keep our coalition and community members healthy and safe so that we may overcome the challenges we currently face. 

We would like to offer a sincere thank you to all of our Transportation Heros that provide goods and services with dedicated trucking, fleet deliveries, sanitation, utility support and the uninterrupted delivery of essential goods such as medical supplies, groceries and emergency response* equipment. Please see the Coronavirus Resources at the Department of Transportation and the information hub at the American Trucking Association for your review and support. 

You can stay informed on the evolving situation of the coronavirus by visiting the World Health Organization or Center for Disease Control. We also encourage you to check-in with local resources such as the Salt Lake Tribune, the Utah Health Department and the Utah Coronavirus Task Force made up of public health agencies and a Coronavirus Task Force actively working to limit the spread of the coronavirus in Utah.

We are grateful that the Utah Clean Cities projects, remote meetings and outreach are still being supported by our dedicated team. Your patience and cooperation with responses and follow-ups are appreciated; as our staff is working remotely and staying healthy, while still bringing you the latest in UCC projects, industry news, funding announcements and advanced fuel tools!

I personally want to thank the UCC team of Emily Paskett, Rebekah Ashley, Jill Kirsling, Angela McKenzie and the entire Utah Clean Cities Board of Trustees for supporting the coalition as we make adjustments in work life, launch new contracts and navigate exciting grant opportunities.  

The good news is sure to follow this time of waiting and common-sense action.

In health and good wishes,

Tammie Bostick, 

Executive Director      

The Utah Clean Cities Coalition 

 

*Please see our Emergency Response and Resilience blog here. We invite you to become involved with our resilience work in the face of emergency and recovery, in Utah.

We are here to support you with any questions or concerns you may have and understand that everyone is impacted differently. 

 

,

Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Resilience

By Brinley Wilson, Utah Clean Cities 

The concepts of emergency resiliency and preparedness are of critical importance to Utah Clean Cities. As a coalition, we believe incorporating biodiesel, electric, natural gas, and propane vehicles into emergency fleets can diversify energy portfolios and create reliant transportation alternatives.

On Wednesday, March 18 at 7:09 AM, a magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck Magna that could be felt from Logan down to Utah County. Various impacts were seen throughout Utah including approximately 10,000 Rocky Mountain Power customers left without power as of 1:38 PM, March 18, down from approximately 50,000 earlier in the day. The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) was forced to halt FrontRunner trains between Murray and Salt Lake City for two hours and all TRAX service Wednesday morning until further notice.

The Utah Department of Transportation required a temporary closure of the ramp to westbound I-215 at Union Park Boulevard on March 18. The Cottonwood Heights Police tweeted that the closure will last for the next three to seven days until a full assessment can be completed. UDOT’s Spokesperson, John Gleason, said that the closure may not last that long as it is simply a precaution considering inspectors are occupied assessing more than 500 bridges affected by the earthquake.  The recent earthquake is a reminder that the time to adopt advanced fuels is now.

Natural disasters of this scale can impact petroleum pipelines, storage tanks, production and distribution as well as electric and natural gas sectors. In the case of natural disasters and emergencies where conventional fuel supplies are disrupted, alternative fuels can increase emergency resilience and preparedness. To ensure we are prepared for future emergency scenarios, we should accelerate the adoption of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies.

In 2019, The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development (OED) and the Utah Clean Cities Coalition (UCCC) developed a report that examines how alternative fuels and alternative vehicles can heighten Utah’s emergency resiliency by diversifying their vehicle fleets and be leveraged as an emergency response resource should their state’s transportation fuels sector be disrupted in an emergency.

 The report concluded that diversifying the fuels utilized by a fleet can increase its resilience and stated that the ideal emergency response fleet contains multiple fuel sources including biofuels, electricity, natural gas and propane among others. This is due to the understanding that, if a natural or man-made disaster were to cut off Utah’s major supply of conventional fuels, emergency response teams could turn to fleets that run on alternative fuels to perform necessary services.

 For example, plug-in electric vehicles can be particularly beneficial in an emergency because of their capability to act as generators to power emergency response systems such as communications equipment, traffic lights or fuel pumps.

 Fuel Diversification Report: The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has identified that a series of disasters have proved the value of transportation fuel diversity. Should a state of emergency occur, NREL has established a “5-Pronged Approach to Resilience” which includes redundancy, access, storage, resupply and efficiency. All of which aim to achieve increased preparedness regarding alternative vehicles and advanced fuels even before disaster strikes. UCCC partners with NREL to gather data and research that advises future research needs and supports local decision making on alternative fuels, energy-efficient mobility systems and measures that enhance transportation efficiency and reduce transportation energy costs.

Nationwide, alternative fuel vehicles are being considered for emergency and service fleets. Electric vehicles have fewer components, so adopting AFVs means less maintenance and increased response time. Firefighters in Menlo Park, California, recently unveiled the world’s first all-electric fire engine meant to replace a traditional carbon-emitting fire truck. In Utah, the Salt Lake City Fire Department (SLCFD) is considering adding the all-electric fire truck to its fleet which was exhibited at the Sugar House Fire Station this month. The SLCFD is looking to reduce their carbon emissions and contribute to cleaner air. If purchased, the electric fire truck would support the city’s climate and clean air goals of an 80% reduction of Salt Lake City’s community carbon footprint by 2040. 

 The state of Utah currently has two utilities operate 429 alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), several municipalities, two transportation providers and six school districts have added AFVs to their fleets, private fleets make up the largest AFV user group and several state and federal agencies have adopted the use of alternative fuels. These are the alternative vehicles and advanced fuels that the state would rely on in the case of an emergency. While this development is promising, Utah is still capable of expanding its emergency resiliency by encouraging the implementation of alternative vehicles and advanced fuels among emergency and service fleets.

To support Utah’s expansion of alternative vehicles and advanced fuels, Utah Clean Cities created the Green Fleet Program to provide resources and specialized training opportunities for businesses, municipalities and organizational fleets to diversify energy portfolios through the adoption of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. The goal of the program is to provide a forum for local businesses, government and the public to collaborate on public policy and programs for alternative fuel used in the state’s transportation sector. The Green Fleet Program works to identify emergency uses of alternative fuel vehicles through (1) recruiting existing fleets, (2) establishing and maintaining a protocol to be followed in an emergency through engagement with local emergency managers and (3) ensure that emergency response teams have access to iREV’s Tracking Tool, a resource to locate alternative fuel dispensing facility. 

Furthermore, Utah has an abundance of alternative fuel resources that can be utilized during an emergency that disrupts the supply of conventional fuels. By establishing and maintaining plans and procedures and collaborating with municipalities to understand the significant role alternative fuel vehicles play, Utah will be better prepared and equipped in the case of natural disasters and state-wide emergencies. 

Want to learn more about the benefits and considerations of incorporating biodiesel, electric, natural gas, and propane vehicles into emergency fleets? NASEO has developed a series of case studies that highlight ways that various alternative fuel vehicles have been used during emergencies:

  1. Biodiesel Fueled Vehicles and Emergency Response
  2. Electric Vehicles and Emergency Response
  3. Natural Gas Vehicles and Emergency Response
  4. Propane Vehicles and Emergency Response

 

  

 

,

Federal Alternative Fuel Tax Credits Summary

Please see below for an overview of all the federal alternative fuel tax credits that have been retroactively extended. For the latest information on laws and incentives, we recommend periodically checking the AFDC Laws and Incentives database here as it’s frequently updated.

For an overview of all the federal alternative fuel tax credits that have been retroactively extended, visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center’s (AFDC) Federal Laws and Incentives page here. All the descriptions with an “updated 12/23/2019,” flag were retroactively extended by Public Law 116-94 (https://www.congress.gov/public-laws/116th-congress). There were 10 alternative fuel tax credit updates, which are listed below.

For guidance on retroactive filing, please refer to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Forms and Publications website here or contact the IRS (800-829-1040) or Excise Tax Branch, IRS Office of Chief Counsel at 202-317-6855.

Alternative Fuel Excise Tax Credit

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

A tax incentive is available for alternative fuel that is sold for use or used as a fuel to operate a motor vehicle. A tax credit in the amount of $0.50 per gallon is available for the following alternative fuels: natural gas, liquefied hydrogen, propane, P-Series fuel, liquid fuel derived from coal through the Fischer-Tropsch process, and compressed or liquefied gas derived from biomass. For propane and natural gas sold after December 31, 2015, the tax credit is based on the gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) or diesel gallon equivalent (DGE). For taxation purposes, one GGE is equal to 5.75 pounds (lbs.) of propane and 5.66 lbs. of compressed natural gas. One DGE is equal to 6.06 lbs. of liquefied natural gas.

For an entity to be eligible to claim the credit they must be liable for reporting and paying the federal excise tax on the sale or use of the fuel in a motor vehicle. Tax exempt entities such as state and local governments that dispense qualified fuel from an on-site fueling station for use in vehicles qualify for the incentive. Eligible entities must be registered with IRS. The incentive must first be taken as a credit against the entity’s alternative fuel tax liability; any excess over this fuel tax liability may be claimed as a direct payment from the IRS. The tax credit is not allowed if an incentive for the same alternative fuel is also determined under the rules for the ethanol or biodiesel tax credits.

For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 4136, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website. (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 6426)

Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit 

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2016, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

Fueling equipment for natural gas, propane, liquefied hydrogen, electricity, E85, or diesel fuel blends containing a minimum of 20% biodiesel installed through December 31, 2020, is eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost, not to exceed $30,000. Permitting and inspection fees are not included in covered expenses. Fueling station owners who install qualified equipment at multiple sites are allowed to use the credit towards each location. Consumers who purchased qualified residential fueling equipment prior to December 31, 2020, may receive a tax credit of up to $1,000. Unused credits that qualify as general business tax credits, as defined by the IRS, may be carried backward one year and carried forward 20 years. For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 8911, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html). (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, 26 U.S. Code 30C and 38, and IRS Notice 2007-43)

Alternative Fuel Mixture Excise Tax Credit 

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was modified and retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94

An alternative fuel blender that is registered with the IRS may be eligible for a tax incentive on the sale or use of the alternative fuel blend (mixture) for use as a fuel in the blender’s trade or business. The credit is in the amount of $0.50 per gallon of alternative fuel used to produce a mixture containing at least 0.1% gasoline, diesel, or kerosene. Qualified alternative fuels are liquefied hydrogen, P-Series fuel, liquid fuel derived from coal through the Fischer-Tropsch process, and liquid fuel derived from biomass. The incentive must first be taken as a credit against the blender’s alternative fuel tax liability; any excess over this fuel tax liability may be claimed as a direct payment from the IRS. The tax credit is not allowed if an incentive for the same alternative fuel is also determined under the rules for the ethanol or biodiesel tax credits.

For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 4136, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html). (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 6426)

Biodiesel Income Tax Credit 

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2022, by Public Law 116-94.

A taxpayer that delivers pure, unblended biodiesel (B100) into the tank of a vehicle or uses B100 as an on-road fuel in their trade or business may be eligible for an incentive in the amount of $1.00 per gallon of biodiesel, agri-biodiesel, or renewable diesel. If the biodiesel was sold at retail, only the person that sold the fuel and placed it into the tank of the vehicle is eligible for the tax credit. The incentive is allowed as a credit against the taxpayer’s income tax liability. Claims must include a copy of the certificate from the registered biodiesel producer or importer that: identifies the product; specifies the product’s biodiesel, agri-biodiesel, and/or renewable diesel content; confirms that the product is properly registered as a fuel with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and confirms that the product meets the requirements of ASTM specification D6751. Renewable diesel is defined as liquid fuel derived from biomass that meets EPA’s fuel registration requirements and ASTM specifications D975 or D396; the definition of renewable diesel does not include any fuel derived from co-processing biomass with a feedstock that is not biomass.

For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Forms 637 and 8864, which are available on the IRS Forms and Publications website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html). For information about registering with the EPA, see the EPA Fuels Registration, Reporting, and Compliance Help website. (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 40A)

 Biodiesel Mixture Excise Tax Credit 

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2022, by Public Law 116-94.

A biodiesel blender that is registered with the IRS may be eligible for a tax incentive in the amount of $1.00 per gallon of pure biodiesel, agri-biodiesel, or renewable diesel blended with petroleum diesel to produce a mixture containing at least 0.1% diesel fuel. Only blenders that have produced and sold or used the qualified biodiesel mixture as a fuel in their trade or business are eligible for the tax credit. The incentive must first be taken as a credit against the blender’s fuel tax liability; any excess over this tax liability may be claimed as a direct payment from the IRS. Claims must include a copy of the certificate from the registered biodiesel producer or importer that: identifies the product; specifies the product’s biodiesel, agri-biodiesel, and/or renewable diesel content; confirms that the product is properly registered as a fuel with the EPA; and confirms that the product meets the requirements of ASTM specification D6751. Renewable diesel is defined as liquid fuel derived from biomass that meets EPA’s fuel registration requirements and ASTM specifications D975 or D396; the definition of renewable diesel does not include any fuel derived from co-processing biomass with a feedstock that is not biomass.

For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 4136, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html). (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 6426)

Fuel Cell Motor Vehicle Tax Credit

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

A tax credit of up to $8,000 is available for the purchase of qualified light-duty fuel cell vehicles, depending on the vehicle’s fuel economy. Tax credits are also available for medium- and heavy-duty fuel cell vehicles; credit amounts are based on vehicle weight. Vehicle manufacturers must follow the procedures as published in Notice 2008-33 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-08-33.pdf) to certify to the IRS that a vehicle meets certain requirements to claim the fuel cell vehicle credit. Notice 2008-33 also provides guidance to taxpayers about claiming the credit. For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 8910, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html). (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 30B)

Qualified Two-Wheeled Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit 

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

A credit is available for the purchase of a new qualified two-wheeled plug-in electric drive vehicle that draws propulsion using a traction battery that has at least 2.5 kilowatt hours (kWh) of capacity, uses an external source of energy to recharge the battery, has a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 14,000 pounds, is manufactured primarily for use on public roadways, and can drive at least 45 miles per hour. The credit is for 10% of the cost of the qualified vehicle, up to $2,500. For more information about claiming the credit, see the IRS Plug-In Electric Vehicle Credit website (https://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Plug-In-Electric-Vehicle-Credit-IRC-30-and-IRC-30D) and IRS Form 8936, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html). (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 30D)

Second Generation Biofuel Plant Depreciation Deduction Allowance

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

A second generation biofuel production plant placed into service between December 31, 2017, and December 31, 2020, may be eligible for an additional depreciation tax deduction allowance equal to 50% of the adjusted basis of the property. The plant must be solely used to produce second generation biofuel and is only eligible for the depreciation allowance for the first year in operation. Second generation biofuel is defined as liquid fuel produced from any lignocellulosic or hemicellulosic matter that is available on a renewable basis or any cultivated algae, cyanobacteria, or lemna. (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 112-240 and 26 U.S. Code 168)

Second Generation Biofuel Producer Tax Credit 

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

A second generation biofuel producer that is registered with the IRS may be eligible for a tax incentive in the amount of up to $1.01 per gallon of second generation biofuel that is: sold and used by the purchaser in the purchaser’s trade or business to produce a second generation biofuel mixture; sold and used by the purchaser as a fuel in a trade or business; sold at retail for use as a motor vehicle fuel; used by the producer in a trade or business to produce a second generation biofuel mixture; or used by the producer as a fuel in a trade or business. If the second generation biofuel also qualifies for alcohol fuel tax credits, the credit amount is reduced to $0.46 per gallon for biofuel that is ethanol and $0.41 per gallon if the biofuel is not ethanol. Second generation biofuel is defined as liquid fuel produced from any lignocellulosic or hemicellulosic matter that is available on a renewable basis or any cultivated algae, cyanobacteria, or lemna. To qualify, fuel must also meet the EPA fuel and fuel additive registration requirements. Alcohol with a proof of less than 150, fuel with a water or sediment content of more than 4%, and fuel with an ash content of more than 1% are not considered second generation biofuels. The incentive is allowed as a credit against the producer’s income tax liability. Under current law, only qualified fuel produced in the United States for use in the United States may be eligible. For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Forms 637 and 6478, which are available on the IRS Forms and Publications website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html). (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 40)

Small Agri-Biodiesel Producer Tax Credit 

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

A small agri-biodiesel producer that is registered with the IRS may be eligible for a tax incentive in the amount of $0.10 per gallon of agri-biodiesel that is: sold and used by the purchaser in the purchaser’s trade or business to produce an agri-biodiesel and diesel fuel mixture; sold and used by the purchaser as a fuel in a trade or business; sold at retail for use as a motor vehicle fuel; used by the producer in a trade or business to produce an agri-biodiesel and diesel fuel mixture; or used by the producer as a fuel in a trade or business. A small producer is one that has, at all times during the tax year, not more than 60 million gallons of productive capacity of any type of agri-biodiesel. Agri-biodiesel is defined as diesel fuel derived solely from virgin oils, including esters derived from corn, soybeans, sunflower seeds, cottonseeds, canola, crambe, rapeseeds, safflowers, flaxseeds, rice bran, mustard seeds, and camelina, and from animal fats; renewable diesel does not qualify for the credit. The incentive applies only to the first 15 million gallons of agri-biodiesel produced in a tax year is allowed as a credit against the producer’s income tax liability.. For more information, see IRS Publication 510 and IRS Forms 637 and 8864, which are available via the IRS Forms and Publications website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html). (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 111-312, Section 701; and 26 U.S. Code 40A)

Idle Free Campaign Brochure Downloads and Purchase Options

With the generous support from our members and supporters, Utah Clean Cities has been able to distribute over 50,000 Idle Free decals and more than 1,000 permanent outdoor Idle Free signs to date. Please see our full list of FREE educational Idle Free materials available for download below:

 

IDLE FREE BROCHURES

Brochure Spanish

Brochure English

IDLE FREE POSTERS

11X17 English

11X17 Spanish

8.5X11 English

8.5X11 Spanish

IDLE FREE CARDS

Idle Free Cards- Spanish Blue

Idle Free Cards – English Blue

Idle Free Cards- English White

Idle Free Logo- Printable Window Cling

Want more Idle Free materials?

Idle Free Packet Request Form

With the help of generous grant funding, Utah Clean Cities is able to continue the expansion of Idle Free efforts by providing schools with one complimentary starter Idle Free School Packet. To request an Idle Free Packet and inquire more about The Utah Clean Cities Idle Free Campaign, please submit this form and our team will get back to you as soon as possible!

Each packet includes the following materials: 

  • 2 large metal signs
  • 50 clings
  • 2 11×17 posters (1 English, 1 Spanish)
  • 2 letter size posters (1 English, 1 Spanish)

Additional Idle Free and Air Quality resources that we recommend include Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment’s soft-bound chapter book: Breathing Stories: Utah Voices for Clean Air and Utah Society for Environmental Education’s (USEE) Air Quality School Kit. We also encourage that you empower students and parents to monitor air quality through the Department of Environmental Quality‘s Air Quality App: UtahAir. Download the app through the app store here

SPRING & SUMMER EVENTS AT A GLANCE

Utah Clean Cities Coalition Nominated as UCAIR Clean Air Community Partner of the Year 

We are beyond honored to accept the Community Partner of the Year Award from UCAIR and Governor Herbert. For over 25 years, Utah Clean Cities has worked tirelessly to support transitions to advance fuels and clean transportation systems. To be surrounded by air quality and clean strategy organizations that have collectively lead Utah to an increasingly cleaner future, is both humbling and exciting. Here’s to another 25 years of Clean Fuels, Clean Strategies, and Clean Air!

Dr. David Christenson, Utah Clean Cities Board Chair, USU & SELECT Executive Director, and Tammie Bostick, Utah Clean Cities

From left to right: Thom Carter, UCAIR Executive Director; Amanda Smith, UCAIR Board Chair; Tammie Bostick; and Governor Gary Herbert. 

 

March Newsletter