The NAFTC hosted its inaugural “Clean Air & Energy Independence” Conference on June 19-20, at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville, NC, and the Conference was a huge success. With the theme of “Exploring Innovations in Next Generation Vehicles,” attendees, including Clean Cities Coordinators, industry leaders, and government officials were provided with the latest information on alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.

The NAFTC chose Asheville, NC, as the location for the Conference based on the City of Asheville’s Green Initiatives. Mayor Terry Bellamy delivered the opening remarks at the Conference and discussed the importance of energy reduction strategies, the increased use of clean, more efficient transportation, and the goals and initiatives set by the City of Asheville to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.


Asheville ’s Mayor, Terry Bellamy, delivered opening remarks at the Conference. Photo Credit: NAFTC

“The ‘Clean Air & Energy Independence’ Conference was a tremendous success” said NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron. “Attendees were provided with information on the latest advancements in the alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle industry. It was a pleasure to be a part of bringing together so much knowledge, through top industry experts, about the many different types of innovations in next generation vehicles.” Details on the conference, including speaker information, can be found at /naftc/events/caei_web.html.

Kevin Rawson, Energy Conservation and Emergency Program Response Coordinator, CINC/Fleet and Family Service Center said, “I had a great time at the conference. I learned a great deal and feel I am much more up-to-date on alternative fuels options than I was before the conference. I am sharing the information with our fleet manager and management here in the Navy. Thanks again, we look forward to additional opportunities and conferences.”

Activities kicked off with pre-conference workshops on June 18 and included the First Responder Safety Training: Hybrid Electric Vehicles 4-hour workshop and the premier rollout of the NAFTC’s First Responder Safety Training: Hydrogen Vehicles 4-hour workshop. Both workshops are designed to provide first responders with the needed information to respond to a growing number of automotive accidents involving hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and hydrogen vehicles as these vehicles become increasingly more popular. Elizabeth Pfeiffer and Francesco Fiore from BMW provided attendees a rare hands-on learning opportunity utilizing a BMW Hydrogen 7. Ms. Pfeiffer also made a presentation to attendees about the BMW Hydrogen 7, known a s the world’s first luxury performance sedan with hydrogen drive.


Shown here with Al Ebron, NAFTC Executive Director (Center) are (from left) Conference Instructors, Paul Williamson, University of Montana and Jeffrey Minter, Madison Area Technical College; and Francesco Fiore and Elizabeth Pfeiffer from BMW. Photo Credit: NAFTC

Companies began reaping the benefits from horizontal drilling technology a decade ago in the Barnett Shale, a 5,000-square-mile field in Texas which has produced about 1.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day. Forecasts have called for production in the Barnett natural gas field to reach 1.7 billion cubic feet. Success from the Barnett Shale inspired companies to explore other potential natural gas reserves in the United States, including the Marcellus Shale.

Even if no large discoveries are found in the Marcellus Shale, drilling activity in the Appalachian Mountains could have an economic impact on its neighbors to the east. It would tend to raise standards of living supplies and possibly result in lower energy costs.

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