Thursday, July 31, 2008

Westmoreland: Don’t Leave Town Without a Vote on Energy

Today as members of Congress prepare to begin a five-week recess, U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland implored his colleagues on the floor of the House to stay in session until they can vote on the American Energy Act, which would give our nation an “all of the above” energy policy to increase supply.

“There is no greater issue facing the American people today, and the House Democratic leadership is showing everybody how out of touch they are with the daily lives of working families,” Westmoreland said. “Republicans are offering the common-sense solutions that Americans are demanding. We want to work; they want to vacation. We say, ‘Give us lower gas prices’; they say, ‘Pass the sunscreen and order me another drink with one of those umbrellas in it.’”

The American Energy Act would boost U.S. production, conservation and innovation to lower the cost of energy. Even though more than 70 percent of Americans support opening up new energy exploration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to allow a vote on new drilling on the floor of the House for an up-or-down vote. In fact, she said it’s a “hoax” that more energy production would bring down the price of gasoline.

“I encourage Americans to call the House switchboard, and tell their Democratic members of Congress and Nancy Pelosi to let us vote,” Westmoreland said. “The Democratic majority is in a special-interest headlock – the environmental extremists who are funding their campaigns won’t let them do what is best for the American people. Just this week the Sierra Club said the United States is ‘better off without cheap gas.’ Well, that’s not how my constituents in Georgia feel. That’s now how small business owners trying to meet their payroll feel. That’s not how people who can’t afford to take their families on vacation feel. Those voices need to be heard on the floor of the U.S. House. Instead, a majority of Democrats, including almost all of the Georgia Democrats, voted to jet off on vacation.”

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Alternative Energy Demands Generate Hot Career Opportunities

(ARA) – If you’re torn between your concern for the environment and your need to make a living, good news is on the horizon. Rising demand for environmentally friendly alternatives for fossil fuels is opening up new career opportunities for professionals in a variety of fields.

Growing environmental concern and limited fossil fuel supplies are driving the growth of domestic and international markets for renewable energy systems, the U.S. Department of Energy reports. Rising demand for cleaner energy directly affects career opportunities in industries related to renewable resources.

“The 2008 economic forecast suggests that one of the newest, fastest growing markets for jobs will be alternative energy,” says Sheryl Decker, director of career services at Brown Mackie College – South Bend, Ind. Decker recently attended a business outlook panel presented by Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. “Growth opportunities appear in companies that are exploring the use of wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower and bioenergy power technologies.”

Millions of professionals already work in alternative energy industries, yet more are needed, including:

* chemists
* engineers
* sales and marketing professionals
* administrators
* managers
* clerical workers
* human resources
* information technology
* business
* finance
* law

“Professionals who are already in the workforce, and students seeking to enter into a green career, can prepare with a number of degree programs and continuing education courses,” Decker says. “Many different types of skills can be applied to these upcoming industries.”

“Alternative energy companies are seeking professionals to fill a wide variety of positions, including mechanical engineer, project manager, programmer analyst, IT sourcing specialist, administrative assistant and marketing director,” she says.

”Business Week” magazine reports that a growing number of professionals are moving to jobs in renewable energy fields to promote their own personal environmental concerns. While some intend to transfer existing skills to a different industry, others are making a mid-life career change simply to become part of the solution for the many environmental issues we face today.

The rising cost of oil is proving to be a catalyst for the further development of alternative energy sources. While substantial growth is happening now, Decker points out that many people don’t yet realize the opportunities it affords.

“People tend to overlook many untapped markets and job opportunities in their local employment arenas,” she says. “Networking can be an effective way to gauge the hiring needs in your area. I encourage everyone to join industry-specific organizations, volunteer in community activities, and become involved with the Chamber of Commerce. By becoming involved in the community and networking, you will see new doors opening with different job opportunities.”

To learn more about career training opportunities in alternative energy, and how to prepare for working in this quickly growing business sector, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Bob Barr Criticizes “Jimmy Carter Era” Energy Mentality, Calls for More Energy Development

“As gas prices have risen, policymakers in Washington have exhibited a Jimmy Carter era mentality,” observes Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president. “They are upset that Americans use energy, and want government to take over the energy marketplace. But it is government that has left us vulnerable to reduced supplies and higher prices.”

Adds Barr, “legislators denounce speculators, as if people never before attempted to predict future price changes. Politicians criticize oil companies, as if the firms were able to set prices at will. If so, why were prices so low for so long? Most of the so-called solutions being proposed in Congress amount to more regulations and more subsidies, and would make our energy problems worse.”

“One of the worst ideas comes from Republican Sen. John Warner, who wants the federal government to again set a national speed limit. The greatest nonrenewable resource is time, which is why Americans routinely broke the Washington-imposed 55 mph speed limit between 1974 and 1995. Sen. Warner may believe his time is worth nothing, but the Constitution does not empower him and his colleagues to decide how fast people can drive on every road in America. One reason we have state and local governments is to enact traffic laws. That is not the federal government’s responsibility,” explains Barr.

Instead, Congress should get out of the way of energy development. “America’s Outer Continental Shelf is thought to hold some 86 billion barrels of oil. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has some eight billion barrels. Oil shale deposits in America’s west could contain the equivalent of as much as 1 trillion or more barrels of petroleum. It’s time we allowed Americans to develop America’s energy resources,” says Barr.

“Congress also needs to reduce the regulatory barriers to new refinery construction, and change environmental rules which mandate the sale of different formulations of gasoline in different regions,” Barr adds. “These government controls drive up gasoline prices. We couldn’t afford the cost during good times. We certainly can’t afford to pay more for unnecessary regulation now.”

For years “Democrats and many Republicans have blocked responsible energy development in America,” says Barr. “The upcoming election gives the American people a real choice. Instead of voting for Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dumb, they should choose a real alternative: Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party.”

Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, where he served as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services. Prior to his congressional career, Barr was appointed by President Reagan to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and also served as an official with the CIA.

Since leaving Congress, Barr has been practicing law and has teamed up with groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to the American Conservative Union to actively advocate every American citizen’s right to privacy and other civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Along with this, Bob is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom.

Monday, July 28, 2008

New UGA Biomass Technology Dramatically Increases Ethanol Yield from Grasses and Yard Waste

University of Georgia researchers have developed a new technology that promises to dramatically increase the yield of ethanol from readily available non-food crops, such as Bermudagrass, switchgrass, Napiergrass—and even yard waste.

“Producing ethanol from renewable biomass sources such as grasses is desirable because they are potentially available in large quantities,” said Joy Peterson, professor of microbiology and chair of UGA’s Bioenergy Task Force. “Optimizing the breakdown of the plant fibers is critical to production of liquid transportation fuel via fermentation.” Peterson developed the new technology with former UGA microbiology student Sarah Kate Brandon, and Mark Eiteman, professor of biological and agricultural engineering.

The new technology features a fast, mild, acid-free pretreatment process that increases by at least 10 times the amount of simple sugars released from inexpensive biomass for conversion to ethanol. The technology effectively eliminates the use of expensive and environmentally unsafe chemicals currently used to pretreat biomass.

The technology is available for licensing from the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc., which has filed a patent application.

Inexpensive waste products—including corn stover or bagasse, the waste from corn and sugar cane harvests, fast-growing weeds—and non-food crops grown for biofuel, such as switchgrass, Napiergrass and Bermudagrass, are widely viewed as the best sustainable resources for ethanol made from biofuels.

“Using non-food crops that can be grown on marginal lands, like grasses, and fibrous waste streams like corn stover, is important because of the ongoing food-versus-fuel debate,” said Peterson. “When agricultural crops, such as corn or potatoes, are grown for biofuels production, the cost of the starting material may fluctuate greatly because of competing demands for food and feed. The trade-off with using a biomass like grasses is that grasses are harder to break apart than corn or potatoes, and the cost of making the same fuel, like ethanol, rises.”

Developing an efficient, cost-effective process to convert the fibrous stalks, leaves, and blades of plant wastes into simple sugars is the biggest challenge to bio-based ethanol production. Thick, complex plant cell walls are highly resistant to efforts to break them down.

Currently, woody biomass requires soaking under high pressure and temperatures in expensive, environmentally aggressive bases or acids before it is subjected to enzymes that digest it, producing simple sugars. The harsh pretreatment solutions subsequently must be removed and disposed of safely. They also cause formation of side products that can slow down the conversion of the sugars into ethanol.

In contrast, the environmentally friendly UGA technology eliminates the expense of harsh pretreatment chemicals and their disposal, and the formation of side products is minimal.

“The new technology has commercial application for the biomass industry, including producers of sugar cane, corn, switchgrass, Napiergrass and other woody biomass crops,” said Gennaro Gama, UGARF technology manager responsible for licensing this technology. “It may also help renewable energy and biofermentation companies—and local governments.

“By allowing for the use of myriad raw materials, this technology allows more options for ethanol facilities trying to meet nearby demand by using locally available, inexpensive starting materials,” he added. “This would greatly reduce the costs and carbon footprint associated with the delivery of raw materials to fermentation facilities and the subsequent delivery of ethanol to points of sale. Local production of ethanol may also protect specific areas against speculative fluctuations in fuel prices.

“It’s easy to imagine that this easy-to-use, inexpensive technology could be used by local governments, alone or in partnership with entrepreneurs, to meet local demand for ethanol, possibly using yard waste as a substrate,” he said.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

John McCain's Plan to Secure our Energy Future

"John McCain understands that high gas prices are squeezing family budgets and putting pressure on the small business, the job creating engine of the American economy. Senator McCain has proposed a comprehensive energy plan that will provide relief to American families through a gas tax holiday and will secure America's energy independence for the long-term through the development of alternative sources of energy and expanded oil exploration here at home." -- Taylor Griffin, McCain spokesman.

Today, John McCain Will Talk With Local Small Business Owners About The Economic Challenges They Face And How We Can Create New Jobs In America. In Columbus, Ohio, John McCain will highlight how he will help small businesses confront the cost of higher gas prices and create new jobs.

Providing Immediate Relief For American Families:

John McCain Will Help Americans Hurting From Higher Gasoline Costs. We need relief right now from high gas prices. John McCain will act immediately to reduce the pain of high gas prices.
· John McCain Believes We Should Institute A Gas Tax Holiday. Hard-working American families are suffering from higher gasoline prices. John McCain has called on Congress to suspend the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax.

· John McCain Believes We Should Send A Strong Signal To World Markets. Enhanced domestic production and developments of alternatives to oil will send a signal to markets that the United States is taking control of its energy future -- and will translate into lower prices for American consumers.

Addressing Speculative Pricing Of Oil:

John McCain Believes We Must Understand The Role Speculation Is Playing In Our Soaring Energy Prices. Congress already has investigations underway to examine this kind of wagering in our energy markets, unrelated to any kind of productive commerce, because it can distort the market, drive prices beyond rational limits, and put the investments and pensions of millions of Americans at risk. John McCain believes that where we find abuses, they need to be swiftly punished. To make sure it never happens again, we must reform the laws and regulations governing the oil futures market, so that they are just as clear and effective as the rules applied to stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments.

Expanding Domestic Oil And Natural Gas Exploration And Production:

John McCain Will Commit Our Country To Expanding Domestic Oil Exploration. The current federal moratorium on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf stands in the way of energy exploration and production. John McCain believes it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use. There is no easier or more direct way to prove to the world that we will no longer be subject to the whims of others than to expand our production capabilities. We have trillions of dollars worth of oil and gas reserves in the U.S. at a time when we are exporting hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas to buy energy. This is the largest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind. We should keep more of our dollars here in the U.S., lessen our foreign dependency, increase our domestic supplies, and reduce our trade deficit 41% of which is due to oil imports. John McCain proposes to cooperate with the state s and the Department of Defense in the decisions to develop these resources.

John McCain Believes In Promoting And Expanding The Use Of Our Domestic Supplies Of Natural Gas. When people are hurting, and struggling to afford gasoline, food and other necessities, common sense requires that we draw upon America's own vast reserves of oil and natural gas. Within our country, we have tremendous reserves of natural gas. The Outer Continental Shelf alone contains 77 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. It is time that we capitalize on these significant resources and build the infrastructure needed to transport this important component of electricity generation and transportation fuel around the country.

Taking Action Now To Break Our Dependency On Foreign Oil By Reforming Our Transportation Sector:

John McCain Has Outlined A Clean Car Challenge That Will Increase Access To Zero Emission Cars. John McCain will issue a Clean Car Challenge to the automakers of America, in the form of a single and substantial tax credit for the consumer based on the reduction of carbon emissions. He will commit a $5,000 tax credit for each and every customer who buys a zero carbon emission car, encouraging automakers to be first on the market with these cars in order to capitalize on the consumer incentives. For other vehicles, a graduated tax credit will apply so that the lower the carbon emissions, the higher the tax credit.

John McCain Has Proposed A $300 Million Prize To Improve Battery Technology For Full Commercial Development Of Plug-In Hybrid And Fully Electric Automobiles. A $300 million prize should be awarded for the development of a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars. That battery should deliver a power source at 30 percent of the current costs. At $300 million, the prize is one dollar for every man, woman and child in this country -- and a small price to pay for breaking our dependence on oil.

John McCain Supports Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) And Believes They Should Play A Greater Role In Our Transportation Sector. In just three years, Brazil went from new cars sales that were about 5 percent FFVs to over 70 percent of new vehicles that were FFVs. American automakers have committed to make 50 percent of their cars FFVs by 2012. John McCain calls on automakers to make a more rapid and complete switch to FFVs.

John McCain Believes Alcohol-Based Fuels Hold Great Promise As Both An Alternative To Gasoline And As A Means of Expanding Consumers' Choices. Some choices such as ethanol are on the market right now. The second generation of alcohol-based fuels like cellulosic ethanol, which won't compete with food crops, are showing great potential.

Investing In Clean, Alternative Sources Of Energy:

John McCain Believes That The U.S. Must Become A Leader In A New International Green Economy. Green jobs and green technology will be vital to our economic future. There is no reason that the U.S. should not be a leader in developing and deploying these new technologies.
John McCain Will Commit $2 Billion Annually To Advancing Clean Coal Technologies. Coal produces the majority of our electricity today. Some believe that marketing viable clean coal technologies could be over 15 years away. John McCain believes that this is too long to wait, and we need to commit significant federal resources to the science, research and development that advance this critical technology. Once commercialized, the U.S. can then export these technologies to countries like China that are committed to using their coal - creating new American jobs and allowing the U.S. to play a greater role in the international green economy.

John McCain Will Put His Administration On Track To Construct 45 New Nuclear Power Plants By 2030 With The Ultimate Goal Of Eventually Constructing 100 New Plants. Nuclear power is a proven, zero-emission source of energy, and it is time we recommit to advancing our use of nuclear power. Currently, nuclear power produces 20% of our power, but the U.S. has not started construction on a new nuclear power plant in over 30 years. It is also critical that the U.S. be able to build the components for these plants and reactors within our country so that we are not dependent on foreign suppliers with long wait times to move forward with our nuclear plans.

John McCain Will Encourage The Market For Alternative, Low Carbon Fuels Such As Wind, Hydro And Solar Power. According to the Department of Energy, wind could provide as much as one-fifth of electricity by 2030. The U.S. solar energy industry continued its double-digit annual growth rate in 2008. To develop these and other sources of renewable energy will require that we rationalize the current patchwork of temporary tax credits that provide commercial feasibility. John McCain believes in an even-handed system of tax credits that will remain in place until the market transforms sufficiently to the point where renewable energy no longer merits the taxpayers' dollars.

Protecting Our Environment And Addressing Climate Change: A Sound Energy Strategy Must Include A Solid Environmental Foundation:

John McCain Proposes A Cap-And-Trade System That Would Set Limits On Greenhouse Gas Emissions While Encouraging The Development Of Low-Cost Compliance Options. A climate cap-and-trade mechanism would set a limit on greenhouse gas emissions and allow entities to buy and sell rights to emit, similar to the successful acid rain trading program of the early 1990s. The key feature of this mechanism is that it allows the market to decide and encourage the lowest-cost compliance options.

Promoting Energy Efficiency:

John McCain Will Make Greening The Federal Government A Priority Of His Administration. The federal government is the largest electricity consumer on earth and occupies 3.3 billion square feet of space worldwide. It provides an enormous opportunity to lead by example. By applying a higher efficiency standard to new buildings leased or purchased or retrofitting existing buildings, we can save taxpayers substantial money in energy costs, and move the construction market in the direction of green technology.

John McCain Will Move The United States Toward Electricity Grid And Metering Improvements To Save Energy. John McCain will work to reduce red tape to allow a serious investment to upgrade our national grid to meet the demands of the 21st century which will include a capacity to charge the electric cars that will one day fill the roads and highways of America. And to save both money and electrical power for our people and businesses, we will also need to deploy SmartMeter technologies. These new meters give customers a more precise picture of their overall energy consumption, and over time will encourage a more cost-efficient use of power.

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Push for Oil Exports Highlights Iraqi Navy's Security Role

Iraq's fledgling navy is gaining prominence within its country's security forces due to its role in protecting the nation's oil infrastructure, a coalition advisor said July 22.

British Royal Navy Capt. Paul Abraham, director of the Maritime Strategic Transition Team and senior advisor to the Iraqi navy, explained during a conference call with military bloggers that in addition to quickly expanding their naval force, Iraqi marines and sailors also are fast moving into a lead role in defending Iraq's major ports and oil terminals from insurgent attack.

"The Iraqi navy's aim is to be able to guard their oil infrastructure, their means of making money," Abraham said. "The 15 patrol boats, four patrol ships, and the two offshore support vessels, which are the major elements of the navy, are all about protecting the oil platforms and making sure they're secure from a non-state aggressor."

Those 21 vessels, all more than 34 meters in length, will be delivered in 2009 and 2010, along with 26 smaller craft. The new vessels will add to the navy's existing fleet of five Chinese "Predator" patrol boats and 10 riverine craft.

The Iraqi navy and its associated marine force moved into a major security role following Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's decision in the spring to confront militias operating in Basra, southern Iraq's largest city. Since then, nearly two battalions of marines were created and trained and ordered to seize the southern Iraqi ports of Umm Qasr and Azerbia, Abraham said.

"Those are the two key ports in Iraq. And Umm Qasr has 90 percent of the imports and exports of the entire country, and was under militia control," Abraham said. "They very successfully conducted that action, and now the navy holds those ports."

Abraham said the navy now conducts 42 patrols per week -- a 300 percent increase in activity over the past year -- and contributes to point and perimeter defense of offshore oil platforms, including search-and-seizure operations.

Abraham gave a target of late 2010 or early 2011 for the Iraqis to conduct their counterinsurgency mission independently of coalition assistance. Building the strength and capabilities to face a state aggressor could take until 2018 or later, he said. Until that time, coalition naval forces will maintain an overwatch role, Abraham said.

Bringing the Iraqi navy to its present state was a challenge, Abraham admitted. Contracting setbacks and previously insufficient funding and attention from Iraqi authorities kept it from growing at pace, he said.

"Sometimes it's difficult to persuade the Iraqi Ministry of Defense how important it is to build up their navy with all the other challenges that they've got," Abraham said. "They are very much land focused, because that's where most of the fight has been."

The new navy was started in November 2004 with a decision to transition from a coast guard force, Abraham explained.

"Real work didn't start until 2005, so we're three years into this process of rebuilding from ground zero the Iraqi navy," Abraham added. "But we are [building] successfully, and they are spending their money on developing a navy," he said.

A separate coast guard force exists to patrol Iraq's internal waters and the Shatt al-Arab waterway between Iraq and Iran, Abraham noted.

Author Tim Kilbride works in the New Media Directorate of the Defense Media Activity.

Isakson: Congress Must Put Aside Partisanship, Work Together to Address High Energy Prices

7/15/08 U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today urged members of Congress to work together to develop a comprehensive plan to address high energy prices during a speech on the Senate floor. Isakson said solutions that embrace all ideas – from conservation to increased domestic exploration – are at our fingertips if only members of Congress would put aside their partisan differences.

“The Congress of the United States is sitting on a ham sandwich starving to death,” Isakson said. “America has within its reach every resource necessary to be self-sufficient when it comes to energy. All we have to do is have the political will and the common sense to make it happen.”

In his remarks, Isakson outlined a number of initiatives he believes will provide a balanced approach to America’s long-term energy needs, including oil and natural gas exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf, nuclear energy, conservation and renewable resources such as solar and wind energy.

“I call on my colleagues, Republican and Democrat alike, to put their elephants and donkeys in the barn and look at the needs of the American people,” Isakson said. “If we leave this year without a comprehensive policy for energy independence, we have done a disservice to the people of the United States and we will not have fulfilled our Constitutional responsibility.”

Isakson praised the administration for its announcement on Monday that it is lifting the ban on offshore exploration, saying that we cannot decrease our dependence on foreign oil if we fail to explore our potential domestic supply.

“That is absolutely something that we ought to do,” Isakson said of the offshore exploration. “We should be exploring every resource that we have.”

Isakson is a part of a bipartisan group of senators led by Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. and Kent Conrad, D-N.D., that are committed to working together on legislation to address the nation’s energy crisis.

Statement from Governor Sonny Perdue Concerning President Bush’s Lifting of Executive Order on Offshore Drilling

Governor Sonny Perdue issued the following statement today concerning President Bush’s Lifting of Executive Order on offshore drilling:

“With record gas prices straining the budgets of many Georgia families, we cannot afford to take any option off the table. It is imperative that we take a balanced approach of conserving, developing alternative energy technologies and increasing the supply of domestically-produced resources. I want to thank President Bush for his action today and I urge Congress to hear the voices of the American people who are asking for relief from our dependence on foreign oil.”

Chambliss Statement on President’s Decision to Lift Executive Ban on Offshore Drilling

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today applauded the decision by President Bush to lift the existing executive ban on offshore drilling, which has been in place since the 1990’s, and urged members of Congress to move forward in lifting the current congressional ban.

“I applaud the President’s announcement today, and I am hopeful it will put even more pressure on Congress to address the current energy crisis. The President’s move is an important step in signaling to the world community that the United States is indeed serious about energy independence. Make no mistake, however, Congress ultimately has to take action too if the congressional ban is to be lifted so that production along the Outer Continental Shelf can take place. Georgians continue to tell me that their family budgets are being squeezed due to the price of gasoline, and they are rightly furious with the lack of leadership in Washington. An overwhelming majority of Americans support drilling here at home and it is time to put the wheels in motion. Simply put, Georgians want us out of this mess, and it is my hope that our bipartisan group will be successful in crafting meaningful legislation that both parties can support.”

Chambliss, along with colleague, U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad, D-ND, have formed a bipartisan group of senators who have been meeting and working to craft legislation to address the current energy crisis.

Mayor Shirley Franklin, Atlanta Fire Rescue & SCANA Energy Team up to Keep Atlanta’s Elderly Cool in the Summer Heat

Monday, July 28, 2008 will kick-off the 2008 “Help Atlanta’s Elderly Stay Cool Campaign”. Mayor Shirley Franklin, SCANA Energy, the Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services and Atlanta Fire Rescue are teaming up for the seventh consecutive year in an effort to ensure that Atlanta’s elderly have a safe and cool summer.

Summer is here and as history has always held in the South… the HOT and humid days and nights are back again. Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran says, “It is important to remember that the elderly suffer from heat related illnesses at a disproportionate rate when compared to younger individuals in the same environment”. SCANA Energy has, once again, stepped up by donating 1,000 fans to Mayor Franklin and the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department to distribute to low-income elderly residents to aide them in maintaining cooler temperatures in their homes.

"As part of SCANA Energy's ongoing commitment to serve its communities in Atlanta and throughout Georgia, we are pleased to donate 1,000 fans again this year to provide much needed cooling relief for our most vulnerable citizens", said George Devlin, vice president and general manager of SCANA Energy. "We are honored to celebrate our seventh year of partnership with Mayor Shirley Franklin and the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, and look forward to finding additional ways to help those in need".
The fans donated by SCANA Energy will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Senior Citizens may call 404.330.6026 or visit the closest participating Atlanta Fire Station. Recipients must provide their name and address and they will be scheduled to pick a fan up from their closest participating Fire Station.

Participating Fire Stations

Fire Station #4
309 Edgewood Ave.SE

Fire Station #17
1489 R.D. Abernathy Blvd SW

Fire Station #29
2167 Monroe Dr. NE

Fire Station #30
10 Cleveland Ave. SW

Fire Station #38
2911Donald L. Hollowell

Chambliss: CFTC Combating Manipulatin in the Futures Markets

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) today took to the Senate floor to ensure that his fellow Senators are aware of ongoing enforcement activities at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Sen. Chambliss specifically noted that just today the Commission brought action against a hedge fund for allegedly manipulating crude oil, heating oil and gasoline markets. During his speech, Sen. Chambliss noted that the surveillance efforts used to identify this activity may also provide additional data to the Commissioners for ongoing monitoring efforts to detect excessive speculation. The Senate is currently debating S.3286, the “Stop Excessive Energy Speculation Act.”

“The Commission has recognized that more information is necessary to ensure that speculation has not become excessive and I agree with them,” said Sen. Chambliss. There have been many assertions made this week in the Senate that are not based on factual information. Many in this body have accused the CFTC of timidly utilizing their regulatory enforcement authorities or only utilizing these authorities after extreme prompting from Congress. To the contrary, this particular civil enforcement action that was filed in U.S. District Court today was uncovered as part of an investigation initiated by CFTC long before some began blaming them for $4 gasoline.”

Working proactively with the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the CFTC was able to uncover possible wrongdoing and ensure that violators of the Commodity Exchange Act are identified and brought to justice.

Sen. Chambliss also said the Senate should confirm the nominations of Walt Lukken, Bart Chilton, and Scott O’Malia to serve as Commissioners of the CFTC as soon as possible. Earlier this month, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved all three nominees; however the confirmation process has stalled in the Senate preventing the Commission from being fully seated.

To listen to Sen. Chambliss’ floor speech, go to: