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November 08, 2018   |

Press Release

#NLCLA: Latest Generation of Diesel Power Helps Cities Deliver Essential Services, Meet Sustainability Goals and Stay Within Budget

November 8, 2018 (LOS ANGELES) – Using the newest-generation diesel engines and new renewable diesel fuels to power buses, trucks, generators, marine and locomotive engines, cities stand to gain substantial benefits in the form of lower emissions and cost-savings, without the need for investment in expensive new vehicles or refueling and recharging infrastructure buildout. 

These are the sentiments presented today at a panel hosted by the Diesel Technology Forum at the National League of Cities City Summit in Los Angeles, Calif. Case studies from the City of Oakland, Calif., Neste US and Cummins Inc. each shed light on a different aspect of how the newest generation of diesel technology, when matched with renewable diesel fuel, delivers near-zero emissions performance along with the greenhouse gas reduction benefits of advanced biofuels. 

“Whether a large metropolitan city or small rural one, reliably and cost-effectively delivering essential public services, is a critical function,” said Ezra Finkin, director of policy and external outreach for the Diesel Technology Forum, and moderator of the City Summit panel. “Diesel is the technology of choice for many of these key services, thanks to its unique combination of features: durability, reliability, efficiency, economical ownership and operation, and more recently new low-emissions performance. Diesel engines are a proven asset for city leaders to deliver the level of public services, health and safety that the public demands.” 

Ninety percent of America’s transit bus fleet and 95 percent of our school bus fleet is powered by diesel. Emergency services are also substantially powered by diesel engines; 90 percent of firetruck and ambulance first responder vehicles are diesel. Many commuter rail operations rely on diesel locomotives. Thirty-nine states are home to ferry operations; these ferries are exclusively powered by diesel technology. Snow removal and waste and refuse services also rely on diesel power.

Of special concern is ensuring public health and safety to all city residents. Diesel technology plays a central role here too, including powering emergency backup generators which ensure uninterrupted electrical supply for emergency operations. Wastewater treatment and drinking water systems, emergency shelters, cell and communications facilities, police stations and firehouses, schools and even many ATM facilities rely on diesel generators to ensure continuous operation. 

“Ensuring these many applications of diesel technology support the environmental and air quality guidelines and goals of cities, counties and states is of utmost importance,” continued Finkin. “Fortunately, the newest generation of diesel technology, particularly when matched with renewable diesel fuel, delivers near-zero emissions performance along with the greenhouse gas reduction benefits of advanced biofuels. 

“According to the latest global studies, reducing greenhouse gas and other emissions from the transportation sector is a key challenge facing cities both large and small. Meeting this challenge must happen in a reasonable, measured way – one that doesn’t put undue strain on city resources and sacrifice essential city services. Upgrading a city or county’s oldest and most-used vehicles and equipment to the newest-generation of diesel technology is the fastest, most cost-effective way for cities to reduce emissions and meet climate goals.” 

Today, cities such as Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, and many others now exclusively use renewable diesel fuel in city-owned heavy-duty trucks, buses and equipment, reaping the benefits of cost savings and emission reductions. For example: the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency uses renewable diesel fuel in 632 transit buses, reducing emissions by more than 10,000 tons in a single year. 

“In many places across the country,” said Finkin, “these diesel-powered public transit vehicles, city- or county-owned fleets of heavy-duty trucks, and other large equipment such as ferry boats, tugboats and switch locomotives have been in service for years, if not decades. While a testament to the durability of the diesel engine, many of these older engines do not incorporate the latest, most effective, near-zero emissions control technologies. Replacing older generations of equipment with the latest generation Tier 4 clean diesel models reduces emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and fine particles by more than 90 percent, and is often the cheapest option. These benefits become even more striking with new renewable diesel and biodiesel fuel options – drop-in replacements for conventional fossil-based diesel. These clean advanced biofuels mean that the newest diesel technologies can cut greenhouse gasses and other emissions even further.” 

The Diesel Technology Forum is a 501(c)6 organization based in Frederick, Md., with a mission to educate on the uses and benefits of diesel technologies and fuels. The Forum maintains an active presence in California. 

Learn how your city could gain substantial emissions performance improvements, greenhouse gas reductions and cost savings by using the latest-generation diesel powertrains combined with renewable diesel fuel. Visit https://www.dieselforum.org/cities for more information. 

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About The Diesel Technology Forum
The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean-diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel fuel and emissions-control systems. For more information visit http://www.dieselforum.org.

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