The Baton Rouge Advocate is reporting today that the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality is awarding several grants funded by “stimulus” dollars, two of which are for the purpose of converting four large diesel trucks in Baton Rouge, and nine more in Bossier, so they can run on Compressed Natural Gas.
These projects, along with several that add particulate filters to vehicles that will continue to operate on diesel, will benefit the state. As was noted in the paper this morning,
… the projects will help reduce the use of diesel fuel by 145,000 gallons a year for a savings of about $362,500 annually, said Paul Miller, DEQ assistant secretary with the Office of Environmental Compliance.
The projects also are a look into the future, he said.
Indeed they are, and a glimpse into a cleaner, brighter future for Louisiana if that same Department of Environmental Quality will continue to support the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel, and will continue to help stave off the fringe groups who are opposed to the methods used to recover gas from shale. Natural gas is truly a viable alternative as a transportation fuel, as these diesel conversions will ultimately demonstrate.
Farther from home, Breitbart.com is reporting that President Obama will announce today that the federal government will help finance the first two nuclear reactors to be constructed in the United States in over thirty years. These reactors, to be built by Southern Companies in Burke, Georgia, will be the first new reactors in this country since the unfounded fears of Three Mile Island.
This announcement is consistent with the objectives Obama presented in his State of the Union Message. We’ll have to wait and see if his Nuclear Regulatory Commission responds with any more urgency than has his Department of the Interior in approving offshore and ANWR oil exploration.
Skepticism aside, we applaud these moves for taking the state and the nation in directions we need to be headed for a more secure future.