Alternative fueling and charging infrastructure is a big part of the California Energy Commission\u2019s upcoming alternative and renewable fuels and technology budget, as is increasing the number of alternative-fueled vehicles on the road. The Energy Commission\u2019s alternative fuels investment plan workshop in Long Beach May 26 revealed that of the $100 million the state has set aside for the commission to use, almost a fourth, $24 million, is aimed at increasing the statewide charging infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles and the fueling infrastructure for hydrogen and natural gas vehicles. Also, $21 million is being set aside for loans and grants to incentivize businesses to develop and deploy medium- and heavy-duty natural gas and propane-powered vehicles. This is the third year of the annual investment plan, which was created under Assembly Bill 118 in 2007. AB 118 gives the Energy Commission $100 million each year to help fund alternative fuel programs that diversify the state\u2019s energy portfolio. Peter Ward, manager of the Energy Commission\u2019s alternative fuel and vehicle technology program, said during Wednesday\u2019s workshop that requests for project funding for the current year have already greatly exceeded the amount available. Some 313 proposals seeking $1.2 billion were submitted, he said. \u201cTo say that alternative fuels investment is oversubscribed is an understatement,\u201d he said. \u201cI think we know many of the reasons why: the high gasoline prices, the environmental disaster in the gulf. There are a lot of difficulties that we see going forward with petroleum.\u201d Of the other major allotments outlined in the proposed 2011-2012 funding plan, a total of $7.5 million is slated for development of gasoline substitute production plants and $8 million is slotted to help fund biomethane production. The remainder of the money is scheduled to go toward things like sustainability studies, workforce development and training, and technical assistance and analysis. Energy Commission staff is expected to conduct another workshop on the investment plan on June 1 at the California Public Utilities Commission auditorium in San Francisco and then accept public comments on the plan until early June. The Energy Commission is scheduled to vote on the matter later this year.