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Larsen Congratulates Western Washington Students on Winning EPA's P3 Award

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Contact: Amanda Mahnke
Phone: 202-225-2605
In: Rep. Rick Larsen exit EPA
April 26, 2007

Washington, D.C. - Wednesday night, a team of students from Western Washington University's Vehicle Research Institute won the Environmental Protection Agency’s People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) Award, making them eligible to receive up to $75,000 in EPA grants to further their innovative projects. The students traveled to the competition in Washington, D.C. with their award-winning invention, a natural gas vehicle called the Viking 32. Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-02) attended the ceremony at the National Academy of Sciences and congratulated the students on their achievement.

“In the long-term, creative approaches like this one will help make our country energy independent and protect our environment for future generations,” said Larsen. “These students are leaders in clean energy innovation. We need to follow their lead in Congress.”

The Western team was one of six teams from across the country to receive the EPA’s P3 award, which encourages college students to research, develop and design scientific, technical and policy solutions to environmental challenges. To fuel the Viking 32, the students traveled to Washington, D.C. with a portable biogas scrubber that converts biomethane into natural automotive gas. Biogas is a renewable energy source that produces less pollution than fossils fuels like gasoline.

This award comes on the heels of the EPA’s Earth Day announcement commending Bellingham, Washington as the most effective Green Power Community in the nation. Bellingham participated in the EPA's six-month Green Power Community Challenge and surpassed their goal with more than 11 percent of all electricity used by the community coming from green power resources.

On Saturday in Bellingham, Larsen congratulated the people of Bellingham for their leadership and commitment to renewable energy.

“The time has come to invest the energy of our nation in the energy of our future,” said Larsen. “Northwest Washington is leading the way”.

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