Bredesen sets goals for energy task force
NASHVILLE (AP) — With Tennesseans using more electricity per capita than in any other state, Gov. Phil Bredesen hopes an advisory panel can find solutions to curbing the state’s energy appetite.
The governor’s new task force on energy policy met for the first time Monday in Nashville.
Jeff Wadsworth, a former director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and now an executive with Battelle Memorial Institute, laid out the situation in a briefing. He says Tennessee ranks 14th in the nation per capita in carbon emissions, 16th in overall energy consumption and first in electricity consumption.
Tennessee’s per capita electric use is about 7,000 kilowatt hours per household annually, compared with a national average of less than 4,750 kilowatt hours.“Energy is obviously an enormous issue,” Bredesen told the panel. “What I’m really hoping to do with this group in the next few months … (is) find some attainable goals and meet them.”
The governor said the state’s 9 million square feet of buildings and fleet of 5,000 vehicles are good places to begin looking for energy savings and renewable energy opportunities.
Bredesen also wants comprehensive public- and private-sector legislation aimed at improving the state’s energy statistics ready for introduction into the General Assembly next year.
“I (also) want us to think about how we use some of the assets we have in Tennessee — ORNL, for example — to help drive the development of clean energy technology as an economic tool,” Bredesen said. “This is an area where we could take a leadership position as a state.”
The task force has 17 representatives from state and local government, businesses, utilities and research organizations, including Dana Christensen, the Oak Ridge lab’s associate director for energy and engineering.”
Energy Task Force: http://www.tn.gov/energy
Information from: The Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com
Published in The Messenger 5.7.08