RALEIGH, NC and ALBUQUERQUE, NM — New Mexico and North Carolina are set to increase the use of alternative fuels. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson signed an executive order in late-September that requires cabinet-level state agencies, public schools, and institutions of higher education to meet 15 percent of their transportation fuel needs with ethanol or biodiesel by 2010. The order also requires those agencies and schools to buy alternative-fuel or hybrid vehicles for 75 percent of their vehicle purchases each year. The governor also signed an order requiring state agencies to reduce their fuel use, and urging the rest of the state to follow suit. In late-September, North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley signed a bill into law that will create a fund to allow state agencies to purchase alternative fuels and alternative-fuel vehicles and infrastructure. The state currently earns credits through the Energy Policy Act of 1992 because of its purchases of B-20 by its Department of Transportation and E-85 by the State Motor Fleet Management. Senate Bill 1149 allows the state to sell these credits, generating funds that will further increase the state’s use of alternative fuels. It also extends to 2011 a 35 percent tax credit for renewable energy equipment, expands the residential credit to include solar pool heating, and raises the nonresidential credit ceiling by a factor of ten to $2.5 million. According to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), the state now leads the nation with its annual biodiesel production capacity of 63 million gallons.