Transportation accounts for 24 percent of energy use in South Carolina, costing citizens millions of dollars every year. The vast majority of transportation energy (97-99 percent) is derived from petroleum, a troublesome fuel for several reasons:
- Oil is a finite, non-renewable resource. Although supplies are sufficient for the immediate future, the world continues to consume oil at a much faster rate than the discovery of new reserves, and the dwindling of supply as demand increases means that prices will increase at an increasingly speedy rate.
- The United States imports almost two-thirds of the oil it uses, making it highly vulnerable to international price fluctuations and supply disruptions.
- Gasoline and diesel emissions from vehicles can cause negative impacts on the environment, including air pollution from vehicle exhaust and water pollution from oil leaks.
The South Carolina Energy Office (SCEO) promotes activities to ensure alternative transportation fuels are available, public transportation is developed, and South Carolina citizens can improve the fuel economy in their vehicles.
The SCEO has also cooperated with key partners such as the Palmetto State Clean Fuels Coalition (PSCFC), the South Carolina Biomass Council, the Strategic and Tactical Research for Energy Independence Commission (STREIC), and other public and private organizations to ensure South Carolina becomes a model for transportation alternatives.