Tennessee Gov. Creates Renewable Fuels Working Group

Gov. Phil Bredesen signed an Executive Order this week establishing the Governor’s Interagency Alternative Fuels Working Group to develop a comprehensive state alternative fuels strategy for Tennessee.

“This is just the first of many steps we want to take to increase Tennessee’s use of renewable alternative fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol,” said Bredesen. “Increasing our use of cleaner, renewable energy resources will promote cleaner air and better health for our citizens and create additional economic opportunities for Tennessee farmers. Increased production of biofuels also has the potential to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and increase our ability to withstand future supply disruptions and spikes in fuel prices.” Representatives of six state agencies will form the Working Group, including the commissioners of the Departments of Agriculture, Economic and Community Development, Environment and Conservation, General Services, Health and Transportation or their designees. Representatives of the Departments of Agriculture and Environment and Conservation will co-chair the Working Group, which will be attached administratively to Environment and Conservation. “Alternative fuels represent an opportunity to develop new markets for Tennessee farmers,” said Ken Givens, Commissioner of Agriculture. “With this Executive Order, Governor Bredesen recognizes the potential of alternative fuel production and use for enhancing our rural economy, and it sets a course for making Tennessee a leader in the Southeast.” Gov. Phil Bredesen signed an Executive Order this week establishing the Governor’s Interagency Alternative Fuels Working Group to develop a comprehensive state alternative fuels strategy for Tennessee. State agencies are encouraged to support the development of a biofuels refueling infrastructure to facilitate the growth of biofuel refueling stations across the state, including both publicly accessible stations and state-owned sites for the operation of state diesel vehicles and equipment. “Perhaps two of the most critical directives pertain to stakeholder participation and the development of a comprehensive public education and outreach campaign to increase the awareness and understanding of alternative fuels, particularly biofuels,” said Deputy Commissioner of Environment Paul Sloan, who represents the Department of Environment and Conservation on the Working Group. “Our efforts in infrastructure development and production capability will only be successful if people better understand biofuels and know where to find them. Consumer education and stakeholder participation will be essential if we are to succeed in this area,” Sloan said.
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