Mammoth Cave increases green energy efforts

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Mammoth Cave increases green energy efforts

Greentech Lead
: The Department of Energy (DOE)-Clean Cities/National Park
Initiative has awarded $505,000 to Mammoth Cave to buy energy-efficient vehicles
– buses, pickups and an electric vehicle – to replace older models.

This is part of acknowledging the park’s consistent green
energy efforts.

“We have incorporated sustainable, green practices into
almost every facet of our operation. These new vehicles aid in our efforts to
reduce emissions and lower the carbon footprint of the park,” said Park
Superintendent Patrick Reed.

The Clean Cities/National Park Initiative replaces older
vehicles with more efficient ones that are less reliant on petroleum based
fuels like gasoline and diesel.

Mammoth Cave National Park already had a strong alternative
fuel vehicle fleet, fueled by propane, ethanol, bio-diesel, and electricity.

The partnership with Clean Cities replaced four aging
propane buses with new ones, and also two gasoline pickup trucks with two
propane pickups, and one gasoline-powered golf cart with a new electric powered
GEM (Global Electric Motorcar) vehicle.

Mammoth Cave was selected as one of the first National Park
Service (NPS) areas to kick off the Initiative because of its track record with
past Clean Cities alternative fuel projects.

Forever Resorts, the park concessioner, also converted its
bus fleet to propane. The partnership recognizes the park’s long collaborative
history with the Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition, which was instrumental in the
installation of an alternative-fuel filling station at the park.

“Alternative fuels and cleaner more-efficient vehicles
are a perfect complement to the park’s mission of preserving our national
treasures and resources. This Initiative allows a larger audience to learn more
about the energy and environmental benefits of these vehicles,” said
Dennis A. Smith, DOE’s National Clean Cities Director.

In 2010, DOE-Clean Cities and the NPS signed a five-year
interagency agreement to create the Initiative. This pact complements the NPS
Climate Friendly Parks program, and enables the partnership to support
transportation-related projects that use renewable and alternative fuels,
electric drive and advanced vehicles, and fuel-saving measures. The initiative
also works to support efforts outlined in the NPS Green Parks Plan.

The DOE-Clean Cities National Park interagency agreement
allows up to $5 million each year to be used for demonstration projects that
educate park visitors on the benefits of reducing dependence on petroleum,
cutting greenhouse gases, and helping NPS ease traffic congestion. Grand Teton
National Park and Yellowstone National Park will unveil their programs later
this year.