Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coordinator Kelly Gilbert Inducted into Clean Cities Hall of Fame

KANSAS CITY – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) honored Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coordinator Kelly Gilbert for her dedication and outstanding accomplishments in reducing Missouri and Kansas’s dependence on petroleum in transportation. DOE’s National Clean Cities Director Dennis Smith and Co-Director Linda Bluestein inducted Gilbert into the Clean Cities Hall of Fame on Thursday, August 24, while in Golden, Colo., where representatives from nearly 100 Clean Cities coalitions from across the country gathered for the 2017 Clean Cities Coordinator Workshop.

Gilbert began her work with Kansas City Regional Clean Cities nine years ago and has since led the coalition to leave a monumental impact on the region it serves. In 2016 alone, the coalition averted more than 34,000 tons of greenhouse gases and saved more than 9.7 million gasoline gallon equivalents of petroleum through the deployment of alternative and renewable fuels, advanced vehicles, idle reduction, and fuel economy improvements.

“Kelly has a unique ability for building lasting connections that benefit the program,” Bluestein said. “There is no doubt that she has made a lasting impact on the local alternative fuel market in the Kansas City region.”

Gilbert rose through the Clean Cities ranks quickly, beginning to work with the coalition in 2008, becoming Coordinator in 2009, Director of Transportation Programs at nonprofit Metropolitan Energy Center in 2010, and is now its program director. Every step along the way she’s been a leader and an innovator.

She secured and oversaw four U.S. Department of Energy grants including the Midwest Region Alternative Fuels Project in 2009 and the EV Community Readiness “Electrify Heartland” project in 2011. She banded together four states—Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas—for the 2012/2013 Mid America Collaborative for Alternative Fuels Implementation or “MAC” project. The grant allowed Kansas City Regional, St. Louis, and Iowa Clean Cities to establish a fleet recognition program called “Mid-America Green Fleets.” More recently, she managed the Safe Alternative Fuels Deployment in Mid-America project, which partnered with two University Fire Institutes in Kansas and Missouri to establish first responder training for compressed natural gas and propane vehicles. The training is now available nationwide to state fire training directors for use in their programs.

In addition to all of these projects, Gilbert has worked closely with Kansas Soybean Commission on biodiesel outreach and training, helped school districts and local governments access Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement funds, and directed Diesel Emission Reduction Act funds to local freight projects. Representing the Kansas City Regional coalition, Gilbert has established herself as a key player.  

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the Clean Cities community. I’m proud to be part of a network that, working largely out of the limelight and without huge budgets, has done so much to improve air quality, encourage new technologies and partnerships, and make a real, measurable difference in improving the environment that all Americans share,” said Gilbert.

Kansas City Regional Clean Cities is a program of Missouri nonprofit Metropolitan Energy Center and is a designated member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program. Clean Cities advances the nation’s economic, environmental, and energy security by supporting local actions to cut petroleum use in transportation. A national network of nearly 100 Clean Cities coalitions brings together stakeholders in the public and private sectors to deploy alternative and renewable fuels, idle-reduction measures, fuel economy improvements and emerging transportation technologies. For more information, visit metroenergy.org, cleancities.energy.gov and cleancities.energy.gov/hall-of-fame.


(30 August 2017) – Metropolitan Energy Center and Kansas City Regional Clean Cities are delighted to have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for federal funding to move the adoption of clean, domestic fuels even further into the transportation mainstream.  The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced yesterday that Kansas City Clean Cities was one of five organizations nationwide sharing a total of $13.4 million in competitive grants.  DOE link

This funding will assist multiple projects and fuels in both Missouri and Kansas.  Private- and public-sector partners will cover just over half of total costs with their own commitments to cleaner fleets, new infrastructure and improved fueling facilities.

The grant covers the following projects:

  • Propane fleet fueling for buses operated by the Grain Valley, MO R-5 School District
  • An expanded time-fill compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling facility for the City of Garden City KS, and new CNG-powered heavy trash haulers
  • Publicly accessible CNG fueling at the Sapp Brothers Travel Center in Harrisonville, MO
  • Additional CNG and electric-drive (EV) vehicles for Kansas City, MO’s municipal fleet
  • Expanded public CNG fueling for the City of El Dorado, KS
  • Biodiesel blending facilities for on-campus vehicle use at the University of Kansas in Lawrence
  • Expanded time-fill CNG fueling infrastructure for the Blue Springs, MO R-IV School District
  • Deployment of EV shuttle buses at KCI, along with construction of high-speed charging systems
  • New public CNG stations along I-70 in Salina, KS and TBD location in western Kansas.  Though designed for access by any CNG vehicle, these stations are planned with heavy freight traffic in mind; construction will close a natural gas fueling gap that stretches from Topeka to Denver, and will encourage CNG adoption by additional freight fleets

We project a cumulative reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 3,377 metric tons by the end of Year Three of the project and the elimination of 46,375 barrels of petroleum.  A conservative estimate shows savings of $888,615 in fuel costs through the end of year three for our partners and for fleets and drivers making the switch to cleaner, domestically produced energy.

A partner in the US Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program, Kansas City Regional Clean Cities is a coalition of public and private partners seeking to build the awareness and use of alternative fuels in fleets throughout Kansas and western Missouri. The coalition consists of fleet operators, alternative fuel providers, vehicle manufacturers and distributors, and others interested in improving air quality and reducing the use of foreign oil. It has been active since 1996 and was designated a DOE partner in 1998.

Metropolitan Energy Center is a 501 (c) (3) tax-deductible organization working in Kansas City and surrounding areas for greater energy efficiency in transportation and the built environment since 1983.  Our mission is to create resource efficiency, environmental health and economic vitality in the Kansas City region.  For additional information, please visit our website www.metroenergy.org

Join us at one of four events in Kansas this September and October to learn about the Volkswagen Settlement and what it means to fleets in the state of Kansas. At each event, we’ll provide the latest information, a forum for discussion, and give you tools to participate in decision-making for the state’s plan for its $15 million share of the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust.

September 6: Salina, KS

hosted by Salina Area Chamber of Commerce and 24/7 Travel Stores

Sept 6, 2017, 10:30a. – 12:30p. Lunch will be served

120 W. Ash, Salina, KS 67402-0586

Register for Salina, Sept 6


September 7: Garden City, KS

hosted by Finney County Economic Development Corporation and Clean Energy Business Council

Sept 7, 2017, 1:00p – 3:00p

City Administration Center, 301 N. 8th St, Garden City, KS

Register for Garden City, Sept 7


September 13: Topeka, KS

hosted by Clean Energy Business Council

Sept 13, 2017, 1:00p – 2:30 p

Address tba

Register for Topeka, Sept 13


October 3: Wichita, KS

hosted by Wichita State University

Oct 3, 2017, 1:30p – 3:00p

WSU Old Town, 238 N. Mead Wichita, KS 67202 (Directions & Parking Info: http://communityengagementinstitute.org/Documents/WSUOldTownMapandParkingDirections.pdf)

Register for Wichita, Oct 3


The forums are being presented by Central Kansas Clean Cities in cooperation with Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Climate + Energy Project.

If you can’t make it in person, send us feedback on how your fleet might use settlement funds.

Settlement Information

Partial Consent Decree for 2.0 Liter Subject Vehicles

$2.7 billion was allocated to states, tribes, and certain territories based on impacted VW vehicles in their jurisdictions

  • The funds support projects that reduce NOx emissions
  • Similar to EPA’s Clean Diesel program
  • Kansas 2.0L allocation: $14,791,372

Second Partial Consent Decree for 3.0 Liter Subject Vehicles

  • $225 million adds to each state’s Environmental Mitigation Trust.
  • Kansas 3.0L allocation: $870,860

For more information about the settlement in Missouri, Kansas or nationwide, visit our Volkswagen Settlement page.

 (KANSAS CITY, Kan.)The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is looking to collaborate with community partners and neighborhood groups to offer educational workshops for Wyandotte County residents. Together with our community partners, we have the opportunity to positively encourage and engage individuals and families to enjoy energy savings.

Providing and promoting energy efficiency programs connect community members with local representatives for resources and free energy-saving information. Attendees can benefit from expert-lead energy efficiency workshops that focus on heating and cooling, lighting, home technology and other topics such as:

  • Simple, effective and low-cost strategies that can be used to reduce water and electricity use.
  • Learning how to take advantage of rebate incentive programs upon installing new energy-smart HVAC systems.
  • The importance of renewable energy for our community and the benefits of community solar.

Working together to offer energy efficiency workshops bridges the gap between area citizens and the public agencies committed to serving our community. Community and neighborhood organizations interested in energy efficiency programs are invited to contact BPU Development Coordinator, David Allen at (913) 573-9922

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Air Pollution Control Program is expecting to receive a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grant funding comes from a federal program called the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA). The funding for this program is not part of the Volkswagen Settlement. Details about the process for awarding Volkswagen funds are still forthcoming.

The department has run numerous DERA grant programs in the past nine years. This year, like the last two years, the department plans to use the grant to fund a clean diesel early school bus replacement program in Missouri.

Owners of diesel school buses stationed and operating in Missouri are eligible to apply for funding. If selected, awardees will receive up to 25% of the cost of the new school bus(es) with a maximum award of $18,000 per bus, and applicants may apply for two school buses. The newly purchased bus(es) must replace a bus(es) that is currently in use and has an engine model year within the range of 1995 – 2006. The new buses must be “early” replacements, meaning they are not already planned for replacement and would not be replaced if not for this funding opportunity.

A Request for Applications (RFA) is posted on the Departments Webpage: http://dnr.mo.gov/env/apcp/cleandieselprogram.htm, along with a fill-in-the-blank application form.   This RFA is open to both public and private school bus owners/operators in Missouri.

The deadline to submit applications is August 31, 2017.

The Department will review all applications received for eligibility, and will select awardees through a random drawing ensuring that all eligible applicants have an equal chance to receive funding through this opportunity.

Please visit the webpage listed above and download the RFA and the Application Form.

If you have any questions about this funding opportunity for early school bus replacements in Missouri, please feel free to contact Mark Leath at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources; (573) 526-5503.


JOB DESCRIPTION:  Internship supporting energy-related programs for Metropolitan Energy Center, specifically for the Kansas City Regional and the Central Kansas Clean Cities Coalitions. We will consider the intern’s program interests […]