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USC Goes Green

11:45 PM, Dec 1, 2009   |    comments
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Campus officials have begun to use electric motorcycles during their patrols.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The University of South Carolina is doing more to "go green." They have a plan to significantly cut pollution by its 400 different vehicles.

The drive to change nearly all its vehicles to operate on alternative fuels is on. "We have the opportunity to show our nation and our state that we're looking at our environment in a different way," said Associate VP for Transportation Derrick Huggins.

Huggins is helping to head up the green movement. By 2015, USC wants everything to run on some type of alternative fuel. They believe it'll reduce pollution by 90 percent. Huggins is also optimistic that the benefits will extend into the pocketbooks of South Carolinians.

"There are economic implications also for our state and for our farmers," said Huggins. 

Officials have already started making the switch. On campus, you can find some police cars and lawn mowers running on propane. Also, USC is starting to use electric motorcycles and biodiesel-fueled buses.

"The thing we want to do is experiment with all different types of fuels because with technology and science changing, you don't know five years from now what you're going to have," said Huggins. He says their plan is groundbreaking.

"Trying to get 100 percent alternative fuel vehicles in the entire fleet, I think the University of South Carolina is probably one of the first institutions to try to do that," said Huggins.

"We've been cited as one of the leading campuses in the country for sustainability. I'm just excited to be able to come back as an alumni and send my kids here and know that I was there when all of this started," said Student Body President Meredith Ross.

Huggins says USC hopes to try to start a campaign to get other schools around the country involved also.

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