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Recharging station money eludes Oregon

Oregon did not win $15 million in federal stimulus money to provide hybrid vehicles and electric vehicle recharging stations in communities such as Ashland that line interstates 5 and Interstate 84.

The money would have been used for about 800 vehicles that use electricity for some or all of their propulsion, as well as 1,250 recharging stations to encourage widespread use of the vehicles, decrease reliance on foreign oil and reduce emissions.

The state's application for federal American Renewal and Reinvestment Act funds included a request for a few hybrid vehicles and four recharging stations for Ashland.

"Oregon's project was unfortunately not selected for funding under this opportunity," said Mark Brady, Oregon Business Development Department clean tech industry strategist. "We are currently trying to identify other sources of funds or other ways to accomplish the objectives of the project."

The American Renewal and Reinvestment Act is providing $300 million for alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle projects across the nation.

Among the recipients of funding, the Southern California Association of Governments won $6.9 million to build 55 ethanol fueling stations, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The stations will reduce petroleum use by 3.5 million gallons each year, the DOE estimated.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency won nearly $15 million for alternative fuel and alternative vehicle projects that include using biogas from waste products and harnessing solar energy. Those projects will cut petroleum use by 3 million gallons annually, the DOE estimated.

Vickie Aldous is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. She can be reached at 479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.