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California Gives $29.6M for Gas, BioFuel Transportation

The California Energy Commission (CEC) last Friday announced allocating $29.6 million collectively to seven separate research and demonstration projects aimed at developing cleaner transportation fuels through applications of natural gas and biofuels.

These awards complete the first two years of funding under the state's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program created by the state legislature under a 2007 law (AB 118). In total, the CEC has provided $175 million under the program, along with another $14 million from the most recent funding cycle (2010-2011).

Covering 82 separate grants, the CEC-administered statewide program has now provided $189.4 million, which CEC Vice Chairman James Boyd said has leveraged another $425 million in private-sector matching funds. Boyd said the matching funds also have helped create or retain about 5,600 jobs in a state with stubbornly high, double-digit unemployment levels.

The latest seven grants will infuse another $44.5 million into the California renewable energy industry, said Boyd, calling it a major milestone for the program.

Compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) are involved in three of the seven new projects, which are:

"The proposed projects focus on reducing petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, providing jobs by advancing biofuel technology and installing alternative fuel infrastructure for fleets," a CEC spokesperson said.

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