Idaho Falls, ID | April 17th, 2023 – Congressman Mike Simpson has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to clean transportation, economic and energy security by Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities, a non-profit organization that promotes alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, energy efficient mobility systems and energy security in the region. Simpson was presented with the Clean Transportation Hero award at his office in Idaho Falls on Thursday, April 13th by YTCC staff, board members and stakeholders.
Simpson, who has represented Idaho in Congress for 25 years, has been a longstanding leader for clean energy and clean transportation. He has served on the House Appropriations Committee for well over a decade and has been instrumental in bringing clean energy funding to Idaho. For many years, he was the leading Republican on the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the U.S. Department of Energy – he served as Chairman from 2014-2018 and Ranking Member from 2019-2022. Currently, he is serving as Chairman of the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior.
Simpson has played a major role in supporting funding for the Department of Energy resulting in support of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), a longstanding stakeholder of YTCC. INL’s work includes their motor coach fleet clean transportation research and demonstration projects, which now include the use of renewable diesel in their motorcoaches and one MCI full electric motorcoach. INL’s projects have been of significant benefit to the Greater Yellowstone region in terms of reducing emissions, improving air quality, and providing examples of alternative fuels successfully deployed in this cold weather climate region.
Additionally, he has helped to increase funding for two critical clean transportation programs that are important to Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities: the EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants, which replace and rehabilitate dirty diesel engines across the country, and the DOE Clean Cities Program, which enables the nation’s 75 Clean Cities Coalitions to help public and private sector fleets transition to clean fuels and vehicles, establish clean fueling infrastructure, and educate key local and state leaders and the public about the many benefits of clean fuels.
The City of Idaho Falls, another key YTCC stakeholder, is a leader in advancing alternative fuels and energy efficient mobility systems. Idaho Falls Power recently deployed an all-electric Ford Lightning F-150 in addition to their 4 other hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Last year the City of Idaho Falls also launched a micro transit system to serve the community, Greater Idaho Falls Transit (GIFT). Under GIFT director, Kade Marquez’s leadership, GIFT operates 3 plug-in hybrid vans for its services. In addition to deployments, on March 16th, the City of Idaho Falls, Idaho Falls Power, GIFT and YTCC hosted a community electric vehicle charging station engagement lunch.
Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities Executive Director, Alicia Cox said, “Congressman Simpson has been a consistent advocate for energy secure clean transportation in our region and country, and we are pleased to recognize his outstanding contributions with this award. His leadership and support have been instrumental in advancing critical programs and projects that are making a real difference in reducing emissions, improving air quality, and providing energy security in this region and throughout the country. We are grateful for his partnership and look forward to continuing to work together to create a cleaner, more energy secure future for all.”
L-R: Tad Pearson, INL Transportation Services Manager and YTCC Board Member; Alicia Cox, YTCC Executive Director; Representative Mike Simpson; Basil Barna, YTCC Board Member; Bear Prairie, Idaho Falls Power General Manager; Kade Marquez, GIFT Transit Coordinator
Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities is the sole regional designee of the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program. YTCC works to advance alternative fuels, vehicles and infrastructure, and sustainable transportation options to increase energy security and sustainability in the Greater Yellowstone region. For more information about Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities, visit their website at www.ytcleancities.org.