Every four years, the Department of Energy designated Clean Cities Coalitions are required to go through a re-designation process to ensure their Coalition continues to meet DOE standards for emissions reduction, stakeholder outreach, and many other areas of work a Coalition participates in.
In September 2022, East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition (ETCF) hosted its virtual Re-Designation Webinar for Clean Cities Leadership and attending stakeholders. As of January 12, 2023, it has been confirmed by a letter from the Department of Energy Technology Integration Program Manager for Clean Cities Coalitions, Mark Smith, that ETCF has been officially re-designated for another four years.
ETCF has decided to share this praise-filled letter with our stakeholders for transparency purposes and to allow stakeholders to see what was said about our Coalition.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office would like to thank you for conducting a very informative and compelling briefing for our Clean Cities leadership team via webinar on September 19, 2022. We are pleased to inform you that the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition’s request for re-designation has been approved (effective date September 19, 2022). This re-designation is valid for a period of four years, or until notified otherwise. Please remember that to remain in good standing, your coalition must remain actively engaged in stakeholder support activities and other important duties as outlined in the attached Active and Effective Clean Cities Coalitions Requirements Checklist.
As demonstrated in the webinar, the coalition has steadily increased its petroleum displacement and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since its last re-designation, due in large part to the tremendous stakeholder involvement with coalition activities. That involvement was also evident in the large number of participants in your re-designation webinar. We commend you on your leadership role on DOE-funded projects and corridor initiatives, especially the National Alternative Fuels Corridor Council, and your contributions to the success of the Drive Electric Tennessee program.
In assessing the coalition’s effectiveness, we conducted telephone interviews prior to the webinar with multiple stakeholders. Without exception, they were very happy with the coalition’s progress, the high level of service and support you provide them, and the large number of public events the coalition puts on each year. Many of them mentioned that you were instrumental in securing significant grant funding from a variety of sources, and they praised your connections with the private sector as well as municipalities. You and your team have clearly earned the respect of your many stakeholders.
Based on the stakeholder responses, and the information presented in the webinar, we believe that the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition is well-positioned to have a significant impact on improving transportation energy efficiency and advancing affordable domestic transportation fuels and technologies throughout the region in the future.
To ensure the continuing success of the coalition, we present the following suggestions:
• We noted that idle reduction activities have played an important role in petroleum displacement and GHG reductions in East Tennessee and were interested to learn about the Memphis Fire Department ambulance idle reduction project. Consider doing a case study on this project, to share lessons learned with other coalitions.
• During the presentation, you mentioned your partnership with the Tennessee Trucking Association over the past ten years. Continue to reach out to the freight and logistics sectors, as reducing petroleum use by medium and heavy-duty trucks can have a significant energy and environmental impact. Additionally, consider expanding your portfolio of fuels and technologies to include off-road and marine applications.
• Continue to investigate the role that renewable fuels, including renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable propane, can play in meeting the needs of your stakeholders. Please keep us updated on the proposed Chattanooga wastewater treatment plant RNG project. Marianne Mintz of Argonne National Laboratory heads the Clean Cities RNG Working Group, which meets monthly. Consider attending these calls, where coalition directors share information on RNG projects under development across the country.
• Hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) can fit the needs of many local government fleets while providing economic and emissions benefits, especially in areas where all-electric vehicles may be a longer-term project. We encourage you to work with state and local government procurement agencies in the region to ensure that a wide range of HEVs are available for purchase on government contracts.
Congratulations on the good work you continue to do with the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to, and enthusiasm for, Clean Cities.
Mark S. Smith
Technology Integration Program Manager
Thank you to all of the ETCF stakeholders who attended or attested on behalf of our Coalition during this re-designation process. We are forever grateful to work with such skilled and kind individuals in the alternative fuels space!