At the Green Transportation Summit and EXPO last week, a group of Pacific Northwest businesses and nonprofits announced the launch of the NW Alliance for Clean Transportation. Bellevue-based Puget Sound Energy, NW Natural, Avista, and FortisBC are among the founding members.

The Alliance’s mission is to promote natural gas vehicle use, benefits of which include reducing air pollution and lowering carbon emissions. “We are very excited about bringing news about NGVs to more people and businesses in the Northwest,” said Director of Policy and Operations at NW Alliance for Clean Transportation, Connor Reiten. “Reducing air pollution and carbon emissions are things we all can agree on.”

According to PSE, 43 percent of carbon emissions in Washington come from transportation. PSE recently took steps to reduce its own vehicle carbon emissions by converting 40 of its fleet vehicles into XL-powered hybrids. The change will help the energy company reach its goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2040.

In addition to reducing carbon emissions and air pollution, fueling natural gas vehicles also costs less than fueling traditional vehicles.

“Natural gas is a great low-emissions alternative to diesel delivery trucks, trash haulers, school buses, and long-haul trucks,” Reiten explained. “This technology offers the torque necessary to haul heavy loads, the environmental benefits needed to exceed nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions requirements, and the low-cost fuel stock needed to make this a win-win.”

Another exciting development in natural gas vehicle transportation technology is renewable natural gas. Renewable natural gas is collected from methane from waste treatment facilities, food processors, and cattle farms. It’s an even more environmentally-friendly product than traditional natural gas and is quickly becoming a popular choice for public transit companies and recycling and garbage fleets. NW Alliance for Clean Transportation is working to promote the use of these vehicles by businesses and municipalities.