Governor of TN Makes Alternative Fuels a Priority for State

Tennessee is uniquely located geographically with the Mississippi River at Memphis, a major interstate hub in Nashville and proximity to Atlanta from Chattanooga. The Cumberland Plateau, between Cookeville and Knoxville, is also home to a native switchgrass which will be used to provide biofuel for a new refinery near Crossville, TN in the next year or two.

Governor Bredesen has recognized that Tennessee can be a substantial player in the emerging biofuels industry that is cropping up all over the U.S.  Last February 2006, The Governor passed Executive Order No. 33 which pulls six state departments together to develop a comprehensive State alternative fuels strategy. His goal is to identify how Tennessee can trasform some of the States energy and environmental challenges into economic opportunity and increased energy security.

Great strides have been made to make biofuels available along a corridor across Tennessee with a goal of having a “green island” at least every 100 miles so that cleaner burning biodiesel and ethanol 85% is available for motorists. In February of 2007, 4 million dollars was made available in funding for several initiatives including seed money to construct refineries, etc.

Please go to the following link if you are interested in more information about the Alternative Fuels Initiative in Tennessee: www.tennessee.gov/environment/altfuels/  I’ll be posting more about some of the things going on in Tennesee soon. This really is an exciting time!

Brenda

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4 Comments

Filed under Alternative Energy

4 responses to “Governor of TN Makes Alternative Fuels a Priority for State

  1. ann

    After reading this article and the website that listed the Departments working on this initiative, what struck me as a missing piece to the puzzle is that the “tax man”, i.e. Dept of Revenue, is not included. If they were to be included, perhaps the alternative fuels would be taxed at a lower rate at the gas pump so the consumer’s pocket book could benefit as well as the corporate pocket book. I can’t recall visiting a fuel station that did not charge more for Bio-fuel than for the standard fuel options. The average consumer listens with their pocketbook, not necessarily their moral compass.

  2. Great idea Ann; I couldn’t agree more!

    I plan to forward your idea/comment to the powers-that-be in the State of Tennessee. Hopefully there’s some type communication between departments at some level even if not on the actual working group but, one cannot assume. This whole initiative has taken off so rapidly there’s possibly a whole lot of catch up to be done.
    Thanks
    Brenda

  3. ann

    It would be gratifying to see some financial benefits passed on to the consumer. This state has a dubious history of supporting “corporate welfare” with all of the tax breaks the government awards businesses to lure them to TN. While I am not necessarily arguing the necessity of such, I would argue that the state’s leadership, regardless of party affiliation, awards to much to corporate without any stipulation that the consumer share the financial windfall of such tax breaks. This would be a great opportunity to involve the consumer. Regardless of any and all work, tax breaks, research, et al; if the consumer does not see the “new” fuel costing less than the standard fare, the majority of them will not open the wallet further.

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