Ulster launches propane vehicle pilot program


Several citizens showed their opposition to the LPG conversion,
and support for opposing the Pilgrim Pipeline

KINGSTON – Five existing Ulster County Sheriff transport vans have been approved for a county pilot program exploring alternative fuels as a result of a split County Legislature’s Tuesday night. The five vehicles will be retrofitted to burn either standard fuel or propane.  
Some Democrats, usually with strong environmental views, including Tracey Bartels and Manna Jo Greene, voted ‘no’. 
So did Chris Allen, who called the plan “counterintuitive.”
“This plan, for utilizing propane-based vehicles, is not the right plan, as the engines do not wear as well, there is actually a higher release of hydrocarbon emissions and propane fuel is a byproduct of hydrofracking waste, which is illegal in New York State,” Allen said
Other Democrats, including David Donaldson and Richard Parete, supported the program. 
So did Republican Carl Belfiglio, who noted there is an abundance of propane available.
“What do we have to lose except okay, we’ve tried this, like Legislator Donaldson said, it could just bridge us to the next thing, so, I’m going to support it,” Belfiglio said.
The 14-9 vote approving the pilot program, followed lengthy debate, and crossed party lines. 
In another environmentally-related vote, the legislature adopted a memorializing resolution opposing the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline, which would pass through the county. 
Legislator Peter Loughran, who chairs the Energy and Environmental Committee, pointed out that pipeline representatives did not respond to an invitation to send representatives to their meetings.

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