Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Clean Energy Adds CNG Fueling Stations at Major Airports in Atlanta, GA and Oklahoma City, OK

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (Nasdaq:CLNE) will own, operate and supply fuel for new compressed natural gas (CNG) public access stations to support airport operations in Atlanta and Oklahoma City.

In the Atlanta area, the City of College Park, Georgia, contracted with Clean Energy to design, construct and manage a public access CNG fueling station on City-owned property located less than a mile from the entrance to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, among the busiest in the world. The facility is designed to serve a range of light, medium and heavy duty vehicles, including regional public transit buses, municipal vehicles, refuse hauling trucks, and airport parking, hotel, and employee CNG shuttle buses. The station will open in two weeks.

In Oklahoma City, Will Rogers World Airport officials contracted with Clean Energy to build and manage a large-scale public access CNG fuel station. Located on airport property, the new facility will serve — in addition to CNG-powered airport transit and shuttle vehicles — a growing number of CNG fleets in the area. The station will begin construction in two weeks.

Both stations will fuel high volume fleet applications, including hotel, parking, shared ride shuttles and transit buses.

James Harger, Clean Energy Senior Vice President, said, “We are delighted to have this opportunity to partner with the City of College Park and with Will Rogers World Airport to make these new CNG stations a reality. The facilities will significantly boost local efforts to curtail air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, they will contribute to reductions in transportation operating costs.”

Clean Energy is the leading provider of natural gas (CNG and LNG) for transportation in North America. It has a broad customer base in the refuse, transit, ports, shuttle, taxi, trucking, airport and municipal fleet markets, fueling more than 14,000 vehicles daily at over 170 strategic locations across the United States and Canada. Clean Energy del Peru, Clean Energy’s Peruvian joint venture, operates the world’s largest natural gas vehicle fueling station in Lima, Peru. Please visit www.cleanenergyfuels.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, including anticipated users and gallons sold at the airport stations. The forward-looking statements made herein speak only as of the date of this press release and the company undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

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ExxonMobil's Methanol to Gasoline (MTG) Technology Selected for Synthesis Energy Systems’ Coal to Liquids Projects

BUSINESS WIRE --ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (EMRE) today (September 29, 2008) announced that it has entered into an agreement with Synthesis Energy Systems (SES) that provides SES the option to execute up to fifteen Methanol to Gasoline technology licenses in their global operations. SES has chosen to assign the first license to a project near Benwood, West Virginia.

This approximate 7,000 barrel per calendar day unit will be based on commercially proven MTG technology which incorporates improvements since the technology was originally commercialized by ExxonMobil 20 years ago in New Zealand.

MTG converts crude methanol directly to low sulfur, low benzene gasoline that can be sold directly or blended with conventional refinery gasoline. Although the original application of the MTG technology processed methanol from natural gas, the same technology can be used for methanol from other sources such as coal, petcoke or biomass. The SES projects will gasify the coal, convert the synthetic gas to methanol, and then convert the methanol to gasoline via the MTG process. Conversion of coal to gasoline through gasification and methanol conversion is one way to significantly reduce the potential pollutants from coal, including the reduction of SOx emissions and the capture of CO2.

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Colonial Pipeline Returns to Pre-Hurricane Delivery Rates

BUSINESS WIRE --Colonial Pipeline yesterday achieved the same flow-rates for gasoline deliveries as the pipeline managed before Hurricanes Gustav and Ike hit the Gulf Coast refining region earlier this month.

After each of the hurricanes, Colonial’s pipeline quickly returned to full capability. However, supply shortages nonetheless occurred as a result of damage and shutdowns suffered by Louisiana and Texas oil refineries impacted by the hurricanes.

The refineries’ reduced output has resulted in market shortages and gas lines in many markets served by pipeline systems in the Southeast. Colonial is making every effort to support its shippers as they try to restore market stability.

The Colonial Pipeline system begins in Houston and crosses the South and East before terminating at the New York harbor. Colonial is a common carrier, meaning it does not own the fuels it transports but delivers them at the direction of its customers.

Deliveries within specific, local markets are determined by the terminal operators Colonial serves.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Governor Releases Monday Fuel Update

Governor also sends letter to President Bush asking for release of crude from reserve

Governor Sonny Perdue today released the latest information on fuel production from the Gulf of Mexico:

Power outages – There are still more than 154,000 people without power in Texas. Crews are making rapid progress restoring power – about 415,000 people were reported without power on Friday.

Percent “shut-in” – The U.S. Department of Energy reports 57.4 percent of crude oil production capacity in the Gulf of Mexico is out. This is a slight improvement from Friday, when 59.3 percent of capacity was out. On Monday, September 22, 89.2 percent of capacity was out.

Refineries – Only two refineries remain completely shut down, and three additional refineries are “back to normal” compared to Friday’s report.

On September 27, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it is delivering 500,000 barrels of emergency exchange oil to Marathon’s Midwest refineries via the Capline.

Also today, Governor Perdue requested President George W. Bush direct the Department of Energy release a significant amount of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

“As President Bush and Congress work on a plan to rescue our financial markets, I urge them to also focus on our fuel shortage in the Southeast,” Governor Perdue said. “As refinery capacity is returning to pre-hurricane levels, I believe a surge in crude from the Reserve would bridge the gap until full production resumes and lessen the impact of shortages on the daily lives of our citizens.”

To date, DOE has released more than 4 million barrels of oil from the SPR. While it would take time for the crude to be processed by refineries and shipped to the Metro Atlanta market, release of the reserve would ensure fuel supplies continue to rise.

More than 1,000 Georgians have used a new tool at the Georgia Environmental Authorities Authority’s website that provides drivers with information about gas prices and gas availability. Consumers can access this information by going www.gefa.org and looking under the News and Notices section.

Some practical fuel efficiency tips for drivers include:

· Drive sensibly: Speeding, rapid acceleration (jackrabbit starts), and rapid braking lowers gas mileage.
· Choose the right vehicle: If you own more than one vehicle, drive the one that gets better gas mileage whenever possible.
· Decrease speed: Gas mileage decreases rapidly when driving more than 60 miles-per-hour.
· Avoid idling: Idling gets zero miles per gallon. Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas while idling than cars with smaller engines.
· Commute alternatives are also a useful way to conserve fuel, including telework, carpool and transit options, and flexible work schedules. More information is available about commute alternatives at www.CleanAirCampaign.com.

These figures above come from the Department of Energy’s daily situation report. The complete report is available at: http://www.oe.netl.doe.gov/docs/2008_SitRep_20_Ike_092908_12PM.pdf .

Letter to President Bush:

September 29, 2008
The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As you are personally aware, over the last month we have seen Hurricanes Gustav and Ike crash into the United States Gulf Coast. These natural disasters devastated coastal areas in both Texas and Louisiana, damaging the lives of citizens in both states. Under your direction, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have worked tirelessly to help residents pick up the pieces. Our thoughts and prayers remain with these citizens as they begin to rebuild their lives.

While the damage on the Coast was extensive, the ripple effect of the direct hit to the petroleum industry is still impacting the lives of citizens around the Southeast. In Georgia, which is almost completely reliant on fuel transported from refineries in the Gulf via pipeline, we are particularly impacted by outages in the fuel supply chain.

I have watched with interest as you and Congress continue to work around the clock to rescue the financial markets and slow the impact of banking failures on the U.S and global economies. As Congress moves to vote on the rescue plan, I would ask that you also focus your attention on the fuel shortage in the Southeast that is impacting state and local economies. Gas stations with no fuel in the ground coupled with long lines at stations with current supply have become commonplace in Metro Atlanta and other places around the state. It is obvious that we are facing a true gap in the supply chain and I ask that you consider releasing a significant amount of crude oil from the strategic petroleum reserve (the Reserve) to refineries in the Gulf to help bring the system back on line.

I would like to thank you for your move earlier this month to make crude oil supplies from the Reserve available to the market. Timely releases have lessened the impact of production losses in the Gulf. Now, as refinery capacity is returning to pre-hurricane levels, I believe a surge in crude from the Reserve would bridge the gap until full production resumes and lessen the impact of shortages on the daily lives of our citizens.

In Georgia, we have made decisive moves to curb demand and assist distributors as they work to increase supply. My administration worked closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Administrator Johnson to secure three different fuel standard waivers. Those waivers are allowing distributors to more easily import additional supplies. We have issued an executive order activating Georgia’s price gouging statues, and have eased requirements on the size and weight of fuel shipments and the number of operating hours for trucks bringing supply into the state. We have teamed up with the private sector to provide information to our citizens about the realtime locations of available fuel. I continue to encourage Georgians to conserve gas by teleworking, carpooling, using mass transit and other measures to help us through this short-term supply deficiency.

While these actions have helped, I am confident that a release from the Reserve is critical and will give our citizens confidence that additional supplies are forthcoming. Thank you for your time and attention on this important matter.

Respectfully,
Sonny Perdue

Cc: Secretary Samuel W. Bodman
Georgia Congressional Delegation

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Electric Membership Corporations Send line Crews to Louisiana

Photo: Linemen from Coweta-Fayette EMC helping restore power in Louisiana were Josh Minnifield, Chris Sutton, Anthony Walker, Lanny Hammett, Bobby Smith, Doug Worley, Corey Hendrix, Jerome Arrington, Anthony Woodard, Jody Cronan and Shea Lassetter.

Personnel from nine electric membership corporations (EMCs) in Georgia, including Coweta-Fayette EMC, headed to Louisiana last week to help the state’s electric co-ops restore power to areas hardest hit following Hurricane Ike.

“We are eager to help our sister co-ops,” says Michael Whiteside with Coweta-Fayette EMC. “Being an electric co-op means calling upon your neighbors during emergencies. We have an unwritten agreement that says if we’re in trouble, they help us. In return, we help them.”

Crews left Saturday morning from Carroll EMC in Carrollton, Cobb EMC in Marietta, Coweta-Fayette EMC in Newnan, Habersham EMC in Clarkesville, Mitchell EMC in Camilla, Ocmulgee EMC in Eastman, Snapping Shoals EMC in Covington, Southern Rivers Energy in Barnesville and Sumter EMC in Americus.

Winds and heavy rain are a great threat during hurricanes, blowing electric poles and structures to the ground and knocking hundreds of trees on power lines, shutting off power to many EMC consumers.

While we can’t say specifically in what order power will be restored in Louisiana, many utilities follow a standard industry practice to repair and energize its lines. First, feeder and primary lines are repaired, then secondary and service lines next. This method restores power to the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time.

The EMCs in Georgia have vast experience in restoring power following major storms. In recent years, EMC crews have worked alongside co-ops in South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida.

Coweta-Fayette EMC is a consumer owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to 70,000 consumers in Coweta, Fayette, South Fulton, Meriwether, Heard and parts of Clayton, Spalding and Troup counties.
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Friday, September 26, 2008

Chambliss, Isakson: U.S. Department of Transportation Taking Action to Help With Fuel Distribution to Georgia

U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation has taken action to help with fuel distribution to Georgia by extending the current exemption of the hours-of-service requirements for motor carriers carrying fuel to states in the South. This will allow more quantities of fuel to be carried to gas stations in Georgia. A temporary exemption was already in place due to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike; however, that is set to expire at midnight tonight. The waiver announced today will extend the exemption to October 8, 2008.

“I am pleased the U.S. Department of Transportation recognizes the urgent situation affecting our state,” said Chambliss. “Allowing fuel carriers to continue operating will make more gasoline available until supplies can be replenished, and that is critical to all Georgians.”

“With the decrease in supplies of gasoline due to recent hurricanes, it is absolutely critical that we make adjustments until supplies are back to normal,” Isakson said. “I am thankful the U.S. Department of Transportation extended this exemption and hope it will help remedy the current situation.”

On Tuesday, Chambliss and Isakson sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency in support of Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s request to temporarily extend relief from the federally enforceable sulfur gasoline requirements in the 45-county fuel control area. That waiver was granted on Tuesday afternoon.
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Governor Releases Friday Fuel Update

Governor Sonny Perdue today released the latest information on fuel production from the Gulf of Mexico:

Power outages – There are still more than 410,000 people without power in Texas, including some fuel production facilities. Crews are making rapid progress restoring power – yesterday about 485,000 people were reported without power.

Percent “shut-in” – The U.S. Department of Energy reports 59.3 percent of crude oil production capacity in the Gulf of Mexico is out. This is a slight improvement from yesterday, when 62.5 percent of capacity was out. On Monday, September 22, 89.2 percent of capacity was out.

Refineries – About half of Gulf refineries are considered “back to normal” while the other half are at varying stages of returning to normal production.

On September 25, the U.S. Department of Energy stated that it is delivering 500,000 barrels of emergency exchange oil to Citgo’s refinery at Lake Charles, LA and 150,000 barrels to Alon’s Krotz Springs, LA refinery. From September 8 through September 25, DOE released 3.949 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) due to disruptions from hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

“Today’s figures show improvement in both the efforts to get power restored in Texas and increasing the crude oil production capacity in the Gulf,” Governor Perdue said. “While these numbers are encouraging, they also show we are still not close to full production resuming. I want to encourage Georgians to continue to do what they can to conserve fuel.”

Governor Perdue also today extended a previous Executive Order which allows larger shipments of fuel into the state. A copy of the Executive Order is attached.

The Georgia Environmental Authorities Authority has added a page to its website in order to provide Georgians with information about gas prices and gas availability. Consumers can access this information by going www.gefa.org and looking under the News and Notices section.

Some practical fuel efficiency tips for drivers include:

· Drive sensibly: Speeding, rapid acceleration (jackrabbit starts), and rapid braking lowers gas mileage.
· Choose the right vehicle: If you own more than one vehicle, drive the one that gets better gas mileage whenever possible.
· Decrease speed: Gas mileage decreases rapidly when driving more than 60 miles-per-hour.
· Avoid idling: Idling gets zero miles per gallon. Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas while idling than cars with smaller engines.
· Commute alternatives are also a useful way to conserve fuel, including telework, carpool and transit options, and flexible work schedules. More information is available about commute alternatives at www.CleanAirCampaign.com.

These figures above come from the Department of Energy’s daily situation report. The complete report is available at: http://www.oe.netl.doe.gov/docs/2008_SitRep_19_Ike_092608_12PM.pdf .
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Victory for American Energy – and the American People

U.S. Congressman Phil Gingrey (R-GA) made the following statement after reports confirmed that the Democratic Leadership in Congress has finally relented, and will not seek to renew the ban on energy exploration on our nation’s Outer Continental Shelf. The congressional ban on offshore exploration is set to expire on October 1, 2008.

“For months now, House Republicans and Americans across the nation have called on the Democratic Leadership in Congress to enact a comprehensive energy plan that allows exploration of the vast energy resources on our nation’s Outer Continental Shelf,” said Gingrey. “And now, thanks to the support of millions of pro-energy Americans, October 1st will be a historic day for the future of American energy independence. The will of the American people has proven too strong for the environmental extremists – Democratic leaders will not try to extend this ban on exploring our nation’s deepwater resources.”

“We must remember that this is only the first step toward declaring American energy independence. As we move forward, we must ensure that this drilling moratorium is never reinstated and continue to push for an “all-of-the-above” energy plan that includes the development of renewable and alternative fuels, the utilization of nuclear power, and the promotion of energy conservation.”

“Throughout the month of August, the Democratic Leadership was given an earful by the American people, who demanded that we break the chains of OPEC by drilling our own energy sources on the Outer Continental Shelf – it appears the Majority may have finally started listening.”
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chambliss, Isakson: Lifting of Drilling Moratorium is Victory for Georgians, Giant Step Forward

U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today said during a press conference on Capitol Hill that Congressional leadership’s decision to allow the moratorium on oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific shores to expire is a victory for Georgians. The moratorium was imposed in 1982 and has been renewed in annual spending bills each year since. It is set to expire on September 30, 2008.

For months, Chambliss and Isakson have been calling on Republicans and Democrats to put aside their differences on energy and come together with a comprehensive solution. The lifting of the moratorium is a huge step in that direction and shows how far the debate has shifted in the months since Chambliss and Isakson have been working with a small group of Republicans and Democrats on making the nation more energy independent.

“This is certainly a day of celebration in the world of energy,” said Chambliss. “We have one goal in mind, and that is for the United States to become energy independent. Removing the congressional moratorium on drilling is a giant step in the right direction, but it’s only the first step. Congress needs to develop a plan to move forward with leasing areas in the Outer Continental Shelf for oil and gas exploration and development. We should also try to further open the Gulf of Mexico where we know there is oil, but which is covered by a separate moratorium. Finally, a legislative plan will give the American people and industry the confidence necessary to proceed with developing our domestic sources of energy. Unfortunately, because of the way in which this moratorium was lifted, it can be reinstated just as easily as it was lifted.”

“We have dramatically advanced the energy debate in Congress. When we started this process, there was absolutely no desire on the Democrats part to explore for oil domestically. Now, Democrats have heard from the American people and are more willing to explore domestic production,” Isakson said. “We have raised the consciousness of Congress and shifted the national debate. However, we still have work to do. We must ensure that this move to repeal the moratorium is not temporary. We also need to enact comprehensive legislation to decrease our dependence on foreign oil in the long term through measures such as increasing nuclear power generation, expanding renewable sources of energy and promoting conservation and efficiency.”

Chambliss and Isakson both signed a letter to Senate leadership expressing their opposition to any attempt to extend the ban on offshore drilling and oil shale beyond their expiration at the end of September.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chambliss, Isakson Applaud EPA’s Swift Decision to Support Governor Perdue’s Request to Provide Relief from Gas Shortage

U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today applauded the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s request to temporarily extend relief from the federally enforceable sulfur gasoline requirements in the 45-county fuel control area. The waiver granted by the EPA is effective immediately and will help ease the gas shortage in Georgia.

“I applaud the swift decision by the folks at EPA to uphold Governor Perdue’s request,” said Chambliss. “Extending relief from this requirement in the short term will make more gas available in the fuel control area until supplies can be replenished.”

“With the decrease in supplies of gasoline due to recent hurricanes, it is absolutely critical to temporarily extend relief from the sulfur gasoline requirement until supplies are back to normal,” Isakson said. “I am thankful EPA acted on this request quickly and hope this will help remedy the current situation.”

Chambliss and Isakson sent a letter to the EPA today in support of Governor Perdue’s request. Text of the letter is below:

Mr. Stephen Johnson, Administrator
United States Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20460

Dear Administrator Johnson:

We are writing in support of Governor Sonny Perdue's request for an extension to relief provided from the federally enforceable Georgia SIP sulfur gasoline requirements in the 45 county fuel control area. As you know, this request comes as a result of a severe shortage of Georgia SIP sulfur gasoline caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

We urge your immediate approval of Governor Perdue's request and ask that, should the Governor need to make additional requests, you act upon them as expeditiously as possible.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter and we stand ready to assist you in any way we can.

Sincerely,

Saxby Chambliss Johnny Isakson
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Monday, September 22, 2008

Georgia to Hold Fourth Annual ENERGY STAR Sales Tax Holiday

In an effort to help Georgians conserve energy and water, save money and protect the environment, today Governor Perdue announced Georgia’s fourth annual ENERGY STAR Sales Tax Holiday has been expanded for the first time to include WaterSense labeled products. Georgians will not pay state or local sales taxes on the purchase of energy efficient or water efficient products that cost $1,500 or less per item. The sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, October 2, 2008 and runs through midnight Sunday, October 5, 2008.

“As Georgians look at appliances and products that have earned the now-familiar ENERGY STAR designation, I encourage them to also be more aware of water conservation and the impact of using WaterSense labeled products,” said Governor Perdue. “The ENERGY STAR and WaterSense Sales Tax Holiday provides Georgians the perfect opportunity to save money immediately at the cash register and long-term as their water and energy bills go down.”
ENERGY STAR designated products meet strict energy efficiency criteria set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Qualified ENERGY STAR appliances and products include dishwashers, clothes washers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, fluorescent light bulbs, dehumidifiers, programmable thermostats, refrigerators, doors and windows

“Through the ENERGY STAR and WaterSense Sales Tax Holiday, Georgians can save money, conserve energy and water, and show their commitment to the stewardship of our environment,” said Chris Clark, executive director of the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA).

Many ENERGY STAR qualified appliances use 30 percent less energy than conventional models without sacrificing features, style or comfort. Some products, such as energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, save as much as 80 percent. By replacing old, inefficient appliances with ENERGY STAR qualified models, Georgians can help protect the environment while saving money and energy.

For more information and to better understand the options and benefits of ENERGY STAR qualified products, visit the interactive ENERGY STAR @ Home tool at www.energystar.gov.
The EPA created the WaterSense program to recognize major water consuming products that are 20 percent more water-efficient and perform as well as or better than conventional models. Currently, 264 high efficiency toilets and 209 bathroom faucets and faucet accessories meet the designation and can be found at a variety of price points at retailers across the state.

“WaterSense is an opportunity for Georgians to make an important choice to help the environment,” said Carol A. Couch, director of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. “The rewards are many, but the most immediate one is the savings you see on your water bill.”

According to the EPA, installing WaterSense labeled fixtures can have an enormous impact on the amount of water people use in their bathrooms, and the cost of water on their utility bills:
· EPA estimates that a family of four that replaces its home’s older toilets with WaterSense labeled models will, using national average water rates, save more than $90 per year in reduced water utility bills, and $2,000 over the lifetime of the toilets.
· If half of the households in Georgia replaced toilets installed before 1994 with WaterSense labeled high-efficiency toilets (HETs), the savings would be more than 18 billion gallons per year—enough to supply Savannah and surrounding communities in Chatham County for a whole year.
· If every household in Georgia installed high-efficiency faucets or faucet aerators, it would save more than five million gallons a day—that’s saving enough water to fill every tank in Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest, in about 37 hours.

For toilets, the key requirements are using no more than 1.28 gallons per flush and solid waste removal of 350 grams or more, ensuring that people won't have to flush multiple times. Faucets limit flow to 1.5 gallons per minute while still delivering 60 psi of pressure.

Visit www.epa.gov/watersense for more information and to better understand the options and benefits of WaterSense qualified products.

Several organizations have come together to ensure consumers are aware of the ENERGY STAR and WaterSense Sales Tax Holiday including the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Georgia Department of Revenue, Georgia Retail Association, Alliance to Save Energy, Clean Air Campaign, Georgia Power Company, Georgia EMC, Marietta Power, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, Electric Cities of Georgia, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Additional information regarding the ENERGY STAR and WaterSense Sales Tax Holiday is also available on the Department of Revenue’s website at www.dor.ga.gov.
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oglethorpe Power Plans to Build Up to Three 100 Megawatt Biomass Electric Generating Facilities

Oglethorpe Power Corporation (OPC), the nation’s largest power supply cooperative, today announced plans to build as many as three 100 megawatt (MW) biomass electric generating facilities in Georgia. Designed as carbon-neutral and to utilize woody biomass, one of state’s most abundant renewable resources, the power plants will provide baseload power to OPC’s 38 member cooperatives, which supply electricity to nearly half of Georgia’s population.

“With our abundant biomass resources, Georgia has the unique opportunity to expand our use of alternative energy, grow our economy and transform the way we provide energy to our citizens,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “Oglethorpe Power’s pioneering investment in alternative energy is consistent with our goal to grow, convert, and use Biomass energy to power our homes and businesses.”

OPC has secured options for five potential sites in Appling, Echols, Warren and Washington Counties. The first two biomass power plants are scheduled to be built and placed into operation in 2014 and 2015; however which of the five sites will host the first plants is still to be determined. A third unit could also be completed and placed into service in 2015 if all elements of the plan for that facility come together on schedule.

Capital investment in the biomass plants will range from $400 million to $500 million per facility with each providing approximately 40 good paying, full-time jobs. In addition, each plant will require an annual investment of more than $30 million for fuel stock alone and will create a need for potentially hundreds of new jobs in the state’s forestry industry.

The power plants will be steam-electric generation stations using conventional fluidized bed boiler/steam turbine technology. Fuel for the plants will consist of a woody biomass mixture, including processed roundwood (e.g. chipped pulpwood), primary manufacturing residue (e.g. wood waste from sawmills) and harvest residue (e.g. wood remaining in forest after clearing). The plants will be designed to allow for the co-firing of other types of biomass, including pecan hulls, peanut shells, chicken litter and more. No fossil fuels will be used.

“With 12 million people expected to call Georgia home by the year 2030, we will need more energy to meet the demand of our growing population,” said Chris Clark, executive director of the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA). “The addition of Oglethorpe Power’s biomass electricity plants will help supply Georgians with homegrown energy that is clean and renewable.”

Employing environmentally responsible technologies, the power plants will have filter baghouses installed for reduction of particulate emissions and selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) for control of NOx. While the need for SO2 emissions controls is still being evaluated, OPC will utilize industry standard combustion practices to control carbon monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). In addition, nature itself will help keep such emissions in check as the content of sulfur and mercury in wood is generally very low.

Depending on the location, water would be obtained either from onsite wells, nearby surface waters, from municipal sources or grey water from nearby industries. Each plant would be developed on a minimum of 200-400 acres of land to ensure an adequate buffer between the plant and its surroundings.
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HHS Provides $121 Million in Energy Assistance

GEG Note: Georgia will receive $1,028,059 to assist eligible low-income households meet energy costs.

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt announced September 17th the release of $121 million in energy assistance to help eligible low-income households meet home energy costs. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds are expected to provide states with heating assistance for the winter months ahead.

“The release of these funds will address the energy emergencies low-income families face during the upcoming cold winter months,” Secretary Leavitt said.

Of the $121 million, $96 million will go to help individuals heat or cool their homes in all 50 states, territories, tribal areas and the District of Columbia. An additional $25 million under LIHEAP will assist the following states identified as having large numbers of eligible households that use oil to heat their homes: Alaska, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

“This assistance with home heating costs will help ensure the safety of

those individuals most in need, including children, the elderly and the disabled,” said Daniel Schneider, acting assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families.

The funds released today bring the total delivered under LIHEAP to approximately $2.59 billion this fiscal year.

For a complete list of state allocations of the funds released today click here.

Individuals interested in applying for energy assistance should contact their local/state/ LIHEAP agency. For more information, click here.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gasoline Shortage or Supply Problems?

Note: If there is no shortage, why the spike in gasoline prices? Read on to find out why.


Shortages, Price Hikes Follow Ike in Southeast

By Joe Benton
ConsumerAffairs.com

September 16, 2008

Gasoline stations throughout the Southeast and are reporting sporadic shortages and price spikes as the surge in average pump prices leveled off at $3.854 a gallon......

Read the story.

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Simple Steps Help Georgians Conserve Fuel

Governor Sonny Perdue today asked Georgians to help with fuel conservation in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike by taking practical steps to improve fuel efficiency. With gasoline prices rising and crude oil supplies in the Gulf of Mexico temporarily disrupted, fuel conservation is a necessary tool to help manage the supply of fuel and reduce the impact of higher fuel costs.

“Georgians have been through this before with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and we’ll manage the temporary effects of Hurricane Ike through common sense and conservation,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “We can all help by reducing unnecessary travel, carpooling and using mass transit, telecommuting, driving a little slower, and fueling only when low on gas.”

Some practical fuel efficiency tips for drivers include:

· Drive sensibly: Speeding, rapid acceleration (jackrabbit starts), and rapid braking lowers gas mileage.

· Choose the right vehicle: If you own more than one vehicle, drive the one that gets better gas mileage whenever possible.

· Decrease speed: Gas mileage decreases rapidly when driving more than 60 miles-per-hour.

· Avoid idling: Idling gets zero miles per gallon. Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas while idling than cars with smaller engines.

· Inflate your tires: Keeping tires properly inflated improves gas mileage.

Commute alternatives are also a useful way to conserve fuel, including telework, carpool and transit options, and flexible work schedules. More information is available about commute alternatives at www.CleanAirCampaign.com.

Fuel efficiency tips are provided by the Drive Smarter Challenge. The Drive Smarter Challenge (www.DriveSmarterChallenge.org) is a partnership between the Alliance to Save Energy and the National Association of State Energy Officials.
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Gingrey: Democrat energy bill = “NOT-A” Energy Plan

U.S. Congressman Phil Gingrey today made the following statement after Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat leadership refused to allow a vote on the comprehensive American Energy Act and instead offered a hoax bill that would permanently prevent exploration of nearly 90 percent of our nation’s oil resources:

“This bill is designed to do little except provide political cover for the Majority. By rejecting a full, open, and fair debate on meaningful legislation that will increase the supply of domestic energy resources, the Democratic Majority is blocking the will of the American people.

Throughout the month of August, the Democratic Leadership was given an earful by the American people, who demanded that we break the chains of OPEC by drilling our own energy sources on the Outer Continental Shelf. This sham of a bill before us today proves that the Majority may have heard those demands by the American people – but they sure weren’t listening very well.

Mr. Speaker, for months now, my Republican colleagues and I have been on the House floor – even when the House was not in session – asking for an up or down vote on H.R. 6566, the American Energy Act. This comprehensive, “All of the Above” approach is what the American people want to solve our energy crisis. It includes drilling that provides incentives for states through revenue sharing, the development of renewable and alternative fuels, the utilization of nuclear power, and the promotion of energy conservation.

Instead, the Democratic Majority has brought forward a bill today that is a “None of the Above” energy bill – indeed “NOT-A” energy bill. H.R. 6899 allows for offshore drilling, but only in a very limited way. This bill denies revenue-sharing to the very states who boldly decide to allow energy exploration off their shores. Exactly how many states does the Democratic Majority think will choose to enact this? That answer is simple – zero. This legislation will deliver little – if any – expanded drilling, and is unacceptable to the American people who have asked Congress for solutions instead of political grandstanding.”

Below, please find the video and audio of Congressman Gingrey’s remarks on the House Floor in opposition to this “no energy” energy plan. To watch the videos, click on the links below, or paste the link into your web browser.

http://www.cq.com/floorvideo/play.do?id=2bc1376a2578bd9dc015d2a6307720082890caea839ecab289a5cd38e8d86557354aefda35c4a8aa5dfbecaf320ce88d63869329f4219258fbf691479746554ed803bd3e03fa0cb5
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Increasing Fuel Supply in the Aftermath of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike

(BUSINESS WIRE) --Today (September 15, 2008), President Bush discussed Federal actions his Administration is taking to increase fuel supply in the aftermath of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. These storms have disrupted our energy sources, and the Federal government is leading the effort to minimize the impact on American families. This recovery effort will take time, but the Administration is acting quickly to help the millions of residents in Texas and Louisiana who have been affected by Hurricane Ike. We are coordinating with State and local governments to help restore power, remove debris, and get water and sewage plants back up and running. Tomorrow, President Bush will visit Texas to support the rebuilding and recovery efforts following the storms.

President Bush Has Directed His Administration To Take The Necessary Steps To Ensure An Adequate Supply Of Energy

The Energy Department stands ready to release crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) when and where it is necessary to ensure refineries are capable of maintaining operations. In the wake of Hurricane Gustav, Secretary Bodman released crude oil from the SPR. This oil was released at the request of two companies - Marathon Petroleum Company (500,000 barrels total; two deliveries of 250,000 each) and Placid Oil (130,000 barrels total). To date, these three deliveries of emergency exchange SPR oil are complete. Yesterday, the Energy Department approved the release of an additional 309,000 barrels of crude oil to two companies - ConocoPhillips (200,000 barrels total) and Placid Oil (109,000 barrels).

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) is working with the energy industry and U.S. Coast Guard to obtain data from airplane overflights and MMS helicopter overflights. Following initial assessments, industry personnel are able to return to drilling rigs and production platforms for more detailed assessment, for repair, or to restart operations.

The Energy Department has deployed personnel to assist with local power companies, local authorities, and State authorities to help get electricity functioning and to ensure the repair and continuity of oil and gas pipelines and enable refineries to restart.

The EPA has waived certain fuel requirements in order to make it easier to use the supplies we have domestically and increase flexibility in what we can import. This waives requirements for gasoline sold or distributed in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, part of Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

The Federal Government Is Carefully Monitoring Fuel Prices To Make Certain American Consumers Are Treated Fairly At The Pump

The Energy Department has opened its price gouging hotline (1-800-224-3301) and its web site (gaswatch.energy.gov) for consumers. The Energy Information Agency is tracking inventories and prices on a regional basis, comparing those figures with past data, and sharing the results with the Energy Department, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and States in the region.

* The FTC is monitoring gasoline prices and intensifying its scrutiny, especially in the affected area. The FTC has also posted a new consumer alert on its web site (www.ftc.gov) to draw attention to its educational materials on how to be smart buyers of gasoline and how to avoid scams that seek to exploit victims of natural disasters.

The Federal Government Is Taking Coordinated Action To Provide Open Channels Of Transportation For Energy Supplies

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Coast Guard worked together to reopen the Port of Pascagoula, Mississippi, to vessel traffic. Oil tankers are currently limited to a 30-foot depth, but draft limitations are expected to be increased to 36 feet in the near future.

The Coast Guard is working to repair the Aids to Navigation - lighted structures, beacons, day markers, range lights, fog signals, landmarks, or floating buoys used to help boaters plan trips and safely navigate waterways - located in the Houston Ship Channel that have been damaged or destroyed by the storms. The Coast Guard is working to reopen the Houston Ship Channel in time to meet the crude oil needs of the refineries once they are operating again.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Governor Perdue Signs Executive Order Activating Georgia’s Price Gouging Statute

9/12/08 Governor Sonny Perdue signed an Executive Order today activating Georgia’s price gouging statute to protect Georgia consumers from unlawful increases in gas prices and other products.

“The threat of Hurricane Ike has disrupted the production of distribution of gasoline, which will have an effect on prices,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “However, we expect the prices that Georgians pay at the pump to be in line with the prices retailers are paying. We will not tolerate retailers taking advantage of Georgians during a time of emergency.”

Citizens are asked to report any suspected incidences of price gouging to the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs at (404) 651-8600 or (800) 869-1123.

Georgia’s price gouging statute prevents retailers from selling goods or services at an unreasonable or egregious price. Georgia’s price gouging statute does not prevent price increases that accurately reflect an increase in the cost of the goods or services to the retailer, an increase in the cost of transporting the goods or services into the area, or an increase due to the market forces of supply and demand.

“Mary and I hope and pray the damage caused by Hurricane Ike will be minimal,” Governor Perdue added. “Georgians stand ready to assist our fellow Americans in any way possible as they recover from the impacts of this dangerous storm.”

The text of the Executive Order is below:

WHEREAS: Hurricane Ike has caused a natural disaster throughout much of the Gulf Coast region, thereby adversely affecting the motor fuel supplies to the State of Georgia; and

WHEREAS: Price gouging related to motor fuels is detrimental to the social and economic welfare of the citizens of Georgia; and

WHEREAS: Wholesale and retail gas prices have substantially increased in some markets in recent hours; and

WHEREAS: In the light of these circumstances, and to protect public health, safety and welfare, it is necessary to prevent price gouging using the authority vested in the Governor by virtue of O.C.G.A. Section 38-3-51.

NOW, THEREFORE, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME AS GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA, IT IS HEREBY
ORDERED: That a State of Emergency exists in the State of Georgia and that the O.C.G.A. Section 10-1-393.4, prohibiting price gouging, is activated.

This 12th day of September, 2008
Governor Sonny Perdue
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Dig Deep for Home Energy Savings

When it comes to energy conservation, home owners may have to dig deep to save money – literally. Recovering ground source heat to power home heating and air conditioning can save the average home owner hundreds of dollars annually.

Home owners will need an expertly installed ground source heat pump to make it all work – and Gwinnett Tech is now offering the state's only course to train and accredit professionals to install the system.

The Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) Accredited Installer Training will be offered for the first time by Gwinnett Tech's Continuing Education Division from Oct. 16 – 18, enabling heating and air conditioning (HVAC) professionals to offer a low maintenance, economical and environmentally-friendly alternative to their customers.

Although this technology is not new, current energy pricing and the fear of continued dependence on fossil fuels are driving efforts to utilize alternative and renewable energy sources, such as ground source heat. Ground source heat is clean, renewable and readily available.

The three-day workshop will be led by two Gwinnett Tech instructors accredited to teach this technology who have more than 50 years of combined experience. The course is designed for GSHP developers, architects, installers, HVAC contractors, trenching/drilling contractors, and others interested in this innovative technology.

Gwinnett Tech offers a hands-on approach to training made possible by access to two fully functional labs. Equipment and systems from multiple manufacturers are used so participants are familiar with a broad range of the products available.

Upon successful completion of the workshop, students are prepared to take the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) installer's exam to earn accreditation as an installer for GSHP systems. Participants that successfully complete this course and the exam will earn a three-year membership/accreditation with IGSHPA. The course cost of $898 includes the three-year membership fee, the final exam testing fee, the IGSHPA study guide, and the IGSHPA text book developed for this program.

For more information on the Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) Accredited Installer Training course, call 770-995-9697 or register online at www.GwinnettTech.edu/ce.
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

American Wind Energy Association Statement on Baucus-Grassley Energy Tax Proposal

This morning Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Republican Charles Grassley (R-IA) announced agreement on a new energy tax proposal. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) issued the following statement from Gregory Wetstone, Senior Director of Governmental & Public Affairs:

“On behalf of the American Wind Energy Association and the millions of Americans who support clean renewable energy, I want to thank Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) for their leadership in developing this important bipartisan proposal. We join a long list of organizations from across the political spectrum in supporting this long-term extension for clean energy tax credits. We look forward to working closely with the Senate Finance Committee, and Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle, in the effort to move this critically important measure forward into law before Congress leaves for the election.”
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Monday, September 8, 2008

Additional Senators Announce Support for New Energy Reform Act of 2008

Six additional Senators recently voiced support for the comprehensive New Energy Reform Act of 2008, or ‘New ERA,’ an energy proposal to reduce gas prices, lessen our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, and strengthen America’s economy.

U.S. Senators John Warner, R-Va., Tim Johnson, D-S.D., Norm Coleman, R-Minn., Tom Carper, D-Del., John Sununu, R-N.H., and Ken Salazar, D-Colo., have joined the bipartisan coalition led by Senator Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., known informally as the ‘Gang of 10.’

“During the August recess I have been from one end of Georgia to the other and the number one issue I hear about continues to be the high cost of fuel,” said Chambliss. “We have a real opportunity to get something done by working together, and I am so pleased to announce that our bipartisan group has added more senators to it, and I feel confident we will continue to see it grow once we resume session after Labor Day. The American people are looking for action on the energy crisis. They are not looking for a political issue. They simply want to be able to make ends meet without having to make difficult budget decisions.”

"This is good news,” said Conrad. “We all feel a sense of urgency to help ease fuel prices in the short term while addressing our long term needs. This comprehensive, bipartisan framework is now backed by a Gang of 16 because it puts every option on the table."

The group is pleased to have the support of additional colleagues, including Senator Warner, who pioneered offshore drilling legislation in the Senate, and who has called on the executive and legislative branches to reduce fuel consumption by 3 percent for one year.

New ERA includes responsible measures to increase domestic production, significant conservation provisions, consumer tax credits, and calls for a focused effort to transition the nation’s motor vehicle fleets to fuels other than gasoline and diesel.

The Senators believe their bipartisan energy plan will generate a groundswell of support among the American people as well as their colleagues in Congress and lead to the development of comprehensive legislation to tackle the nation’s energy crisis.

Other members of the bipartisan coalition include: John Thune, R-S.D., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., Mary Landrieu, D-La., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Bob Corker, R-Tenn., Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Ben Nelson, D-Neb.
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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

U.S. Wind Energy Installations Surpass 20,000 Megawatts

The U.S. wind industry has raced past the 20,000-megawatt (MW) installed capacity milestone, achieving in two years what had previously taken more than two decades, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said today (the 10,000-MW mark was reached in 2006). Wind now provides 20,152 MW of electricity generating capacity in the U.S., producing enough electricity to serve 5.3 million American homes or power a fleet of more than 1 million plug-in hybrid vehicles.

“Wind energy installations are well ahead of the curve for contributing 20% of the U.S. electric power supply by 2030 as envisioned by the U.S. Department of Energy,” said AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher. “However, the looming expiration of the federal renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) less than four months from now threatens this spectacular progress. The PTC has been a critical factor in wind’s very rapid growth as a part of the nation’s power portfolio.” The PTC is currently set to expire at the end of 2008.

Swisher and other wind industry leaders noted the 20,000-MW milestone from Minneapolis, where the Republican National Convention is currently being held. Joining Swisher in Minneapolis were AWEA President Jim Walker, of enXco, as well as officials from other leading companies in the wind industry, including Xcel Energy, Vestas Americas A/S, Renewable Energy Systems Americas, and Horizon Wind Power.

Xcel Energy, the host utility for both the Republican convention and the Democratic National Convention held last week in Denver, is providing sufficient wind-generated electricity from its system to power both events. A 131-foot wind turbine blade, which has been on display at both conventions, was manufactured by wind turbine maker Vestas at a U.S. blade factory.

The 20,000 MW of wind power installed in the U.S. today can generate as much electricity every year as 28.7 million tons of coal or 90 million barrels of oil. Wind generation currently displaces 34 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to taking 5.8 million vehicles off the road. A U.S. Department of Energy study released in May found that wind could provide 20% of U.S. electricity by 2030. At that level, wind power would support 500,000 jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as taking 140 million vehicles off the road.

The U.S. is now the world leader in wind electricity generation. While Germany has more generating capacity installed (about 23,000 MW), the U.S. is producing more electricity from wind because of its much stronger winds. AWEA expects over 7,500 MW of new wind capacity to be added in 2008, expanding America’s wind energy fleet by 45% and bringing total U.S. capacity to some 24,300 MW.

Although 20,000 MW is an important milestone, wind power provides just over 1.5% of the nation’s electricity, far below the potential identified by experts. Still, it is one of the fastest-growing electricity sources today, providing 35% of the total new capacity added in 2007 (second only to natural gas). The U.S. had 1,000 MW of wind power installed by 1985; 2,000 MW installed by 1999; and 5,000 MW by 2003. Its first 10,000 MW was installed by mid-2006.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s 20% Wind Energy by 2030 report, wind power is capable of becoming a major contributor to America’s electricity supply over the next two decades. As an inexhaustible domestic resource, wind strengthens our energy security, improves the quality of the air we breathe, slows climate change, and revitalizes rural communities.
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