|TN Dept. of Environment and Conservation Deputy Commissioner Paul Sloan||TN Dept. of Agriculture Assistant Commissioner Joe Gaines|
Governor Phil Bredesen signed Executive Order Number 33 on February 14, 2006 and asked officials from six different departments to develop a comprehensive state alternative fuels strategy. Representatives from the departments of Agriculture, Economic and Community Development, Environment and Conservation, General Services, Health and Transportation began meeting in March 2006 to address the directives outlined in the Executive Order. It has been our pleasure to serve as co-chairpersons of the Governor’s Alternative Fuels Working Group.
By encouraging the production, distribution and use of biofuels, particularly biodiesel and ethanol, the Governor challenged us to identify how Tennessee could transform some of the state’s energy and environmental challenges into economic opportunity and increased energy security. “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 Governor 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.”
In addition to developing a state alternative fuels strategy, the Executive Order calls for the development of a public education campaign to increase general awareness and understanding of the benefits from using alternative fuels. It specifically requires that travelers be able to locate publicly available alternative fuel refueling stations as they become available. This Web page will be the first of many outreach tools designed to help citizens learn more about the advantages of alternative fuels.
Tennessee is a unique position as America confronts its current energy challenge. We are already leader in transportation. Our central location makes us a hub, and we also have a number of distinguished companies that excel in transportation and logistics. Our National Laboratory in Oak Ridge and universities are leaders in biosciences and bioenergy research. We really believe Tennessee is poised to be a catalyst for advancing alternative fuels in the region and the nation.