Saturday, October 25, 2008

John McCain Message re: America's Dependence on Foreign Oil

Problem: America's Dependence on Foreign Oil

Our nation's security and prosperity depends on our nation's ability to break its strategic dependence on foreign sources of energy. America needs to achieve energy independence and John McCain has the plan to do it!

John McCain's Solution: The Lexington Project

The Lexington Project is John McCain's comprehensive energy policy that includes:

Expanding domestic oil and natural gas exploration and production
Reforming our transportation sector
Investing in clean, alternative sources of energy
Clean coal
45 new nuclear power plants by 2030
Alternative, low carbon fules such as wind, hydro, and solar power
A permanent tax credit equal to 10 % of wages spent on R&D
Promoting energy efficency
Addressing the speculative pricing of oil

Follow this link to learn more about the plan: The Lexington Project

As president, John McCain will take the necessary steps to ensure that Americans have dependable energy sources: producing more power, encouraging technology development, reducing energy prices, and addressing climate change.

Have you seen our latest ad? Check out the "I AM JOE" ad! Special shout out to Georgia's own Pam the Antique Dealer!!! Want to get involved in the campaign in your community? Go to our Georgia County Chair page to find your county's McCain Palin Chair and get involved NOW in the campaign!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Graduate Student Project Makes Vending Machines More Energy-Efficient

When you stop for a few seconds to buy a cold drink from a vending machine, you probably don’t put any thought into how much energy the machine uses.

But a group of Georgia Southern University biology graduate students did – and found a way for the campus to save energy and money.

Eleven students in last fall’s Graduate Seminar in Sustainability researched possible service projects to make the Georgia Southern campus more energy-efficient. After discussing several ideas, they proposed putting energy-saving devices on vending machines.

“It was the best project because it is not just an awareness campaign – it is going to make a concrete difference,” said Dr. Lissa Leege, who taught the sustainability seminar along with Dr. Michelle Zjhra. “The work the students did is now really going to pay off on campus.”

The students’ research found that vending machines are one of the worst culprits of energy inefficiency, using 20 percent more energy on average than a refrigerator. As a solution, the students turned to the EMS-55, a device from the Coca-Cola Company that powers vending machines down to standby mode when they are not being used.

With $1,000 in funding from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and the support of Coca-Cola Bottling Company United in Statesboro, the students were able to purchase 12 of the devices. Three more were donated by Coca-Cola.

“It’s a simple solution, and you can do it for little money,” said graduate student Steve Williams, who led the research. “You see big benefits at a low cost.”

Three test models were put on Coca-Cola machines over the summer, and the rest have been installed this fall. The EMS (Energy Management System)-55 is now in use in 11 buildings: Biology, Forest Drive, Herty, Hollis, Marvin Pittman, Math-Physics, Rosenwald, Deal Hall, Hanner Fieldhouse, the Russell Union and the Williams Center.

The off-campus community will be connected to the initiative as well. The Coke machine at the Boys and Girls Clubs center in Statesboro is also slated to get one of the energy-saving units.
“We felt it was very important to involve our community outside of Georgia Southern in our efforts because community involvement is imperative to make a real difference for a sustainable future,” Williams said.

The energy-saving device uses an infrared motion sensor to power down the machine when no one is using it. So, for example, when the Biology building is vacant at 3 a.m., the vending machine is not constantly running coolant and its brightly-lit fa├žade is turned off.
The EMS-55 also “learns” consumer traffic patterns. If no one uses the machine at a certain time on a certain day, the machine powers down at that same time on the same day the following week.

That all adds up to energy savings of about 33 percent, according to the students’ research. A vending machine without the power controller uses 3,021 kilowatt-hours per year on average, compared to 2,023 per year with one. Multiply that by the 15 machines on campus, and the University reduces its power use by nearly 15,000 kilowatt-hours per year.

“Our first step in sustainability is to increase the efficiency of what we already have,” said Dr. Leege, the director of the Office of Sustainability in the Allen E. Paulson College of Science and Technology. “We’re not having to change our behavior at all, and this is making a difference in our energy consumption.

The cost savings are just part of the equation, though. The devices also help conserve water and significantly reduce carbon dioxide and other air pollutant emissions.

“The energy efficiency is beneficial economically and environmentally,” Williams said. “While saving the university – and therefore students – money on the electric bill, this one small step also has a number of ripple effects on the environment.”

For example, these devices increase the lifespan of the light bulbs that illuminate the front of the vending machine. That means fewer materials (glass, metals, fluorescent gas, mercury, etc.) are used to manufacture bulbs for Georgia Southern’s machines; Coca-Cola United has to truck fewer bulbs to Savannah to recycle them, which saves gas and reduces harmful emissions; less energy has to be used to recycle those bulbs, which means less coal is mined and burned, which means lower greenhouse gas emissions; and, finally, less waste is generated from the parts of the bulb that cannot be recycled.

“These ripples will be multiplied 30 times since each of the 15 machines is equipped with two fluorescent light bulbs,” Williams said. “Our efforts are like throwing pebbles into the ocean; they make some ripples and waves. If everyone were to take a small step towards sustainability, then it would be like throwing a mountain of pebbles into the ocean.”

That’s not the only ripple effect Dr. Leege is counting on. As with all of Georgia Southern’s sustainability initiatives, she wants to see this project expand. The EMS-55 is reasonably-priced (about $80 per unit), so she hopes the Georgia Southern community will get on board and provide additional units for vending machines on-campus.

The project could not have been possible without the participation of Coca-Cola. Chad Henry, the cold drink manager for Coca-Cola United in Statesboro, said this fit perfectly with Coke’s commitment to be environmentally friendly through steps such as recycling out-of-date products, providing recycling bins and marketing their products with energy-efficient promotional items.

“The Coca-Cola Company is investing in ‘going green,’ and we are glad to have people like Lissa and Steve help us on the Georgia Southern campus,” Henry said. “They came up with the idea and got the wheels turning.”

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

More Than Five Billion Dollars Released Under LIHEAP

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced the release of $5.1 billion
from the federal government's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
(LIHEAP) under the Fiscal Year 2009 Continuing Resolution. The funds
will assist states, territories, tribal areas and the District of
Columbia with addressing their energy needs, particularly for the
upcoming winter season.

"The release of these funds will help low-income families stay warm this
winter," Secretary Leavitt said. "These funds will also help reduce the
risk of health and safety problems exacerbated by exposure to extreme
temperatures."

LIHEAP funding is provided to states through the Office of Community
Services in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at HHS.
The funds will assist eligible low-income households in meeting their
heating and other energy needs.

"The funds released by the Bush Administration will help our most
vulnerable citizens, including the disabled, elderly and children," said
Josephine Robinson, director, Office of Community Services at ACF.

Under the language of the Continuing Resolution, $4.5 billion in block
grant funds and $590 million contingency funds must be released by Oct.
30, 2008. Block grant funds will be allocated to states under a formula
specified in the Continuing Resolution. Of the $590 million in
contingency funds, $100 million will assist states where large numbers
of eligible households use heating oil for heat: Alaska, Connecticut,
Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The
remaining $490 million will help individuals in all 50 states.

For a complete list of state allocations of the funds released today go
to:
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/news/press/2008/liheap_allocations_fy2009.htm.

Individuals interested in applying for energy assistance should contact
their local/state/LIHEAP agency. For more information, go to
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/liheap or
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/liheap/brochure.html.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Researchers Seek to Reduce Bat Deaths at Wind Turbines

The Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC), a unique government-industry-conservation group alliance, has begun testing the effect of stopping wind turbines during low wind conditions to avoid killing bats. The study, the first of its kind in the U.S., would also determine the reduction, due to shutdowns, in the amount of electricity generated.

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is concerned that several species of bats, including potentially endangered bats, are killed each year by wind turbines," said Alex Hoar, the Service's northeast coordinator for review of wind power projects. "The Service is pleased to be helping fund this precedent-setting study to test if slightly changing the way a wind turbine operates can substantially reduce or even avoid killing bats."

IBERDROLA RENEWABLES offered its Casselman Wind Power Project site in Pennsylvania for the experiment and is also providing funding for it. “We are proud to offer our Casselman site for this important experiment and fully support efforts of the BWEC,” said Andrew Linehan, director of permitting for the company. “We believe this is the responsible thing to do and recognize there is an impact on bats that requires scientific study. We’re committed to hosting this effort, which represents a new area of investigation for the wind industry,” Linehan said.

In 2004, BWEC (http://www.batsandwind.org) was formed by Bat Conservation International (BCI), the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the Service, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to learn why bats are being killed at wind energy facilities and how deaths can be prevented.

Since that time, BWEC scientists have learned much about patterns of bat deaths and the relationships between weather and interactions of bats with wind turbines. Key findings suggest bat fatalities occur primarily on low wind nights when turbines are operating at low power, but in some cases the turbine blades are rotating at or near their maximum speed. Scientists hypothesize that shutting down turbines in times of low wind during periods of high bat activity could significantly reduce fatalities, with modest reduction in power production and associated economic impact on project operations.

“I’m thrilled that this critical experiment is under way,” said Dr. Merlin Tuttle, Founder and President of BCI. “Our purpose is to work together on determining causes and solutions as quickly as possible.”

Bats, though often ignored and falsely besmirched, are vital to the health of the environment and to many human economies. They are primary predators of night-flying insects, including many major agricultural pests, while some are important pollinators and seed dispersers. Bat kills have been high at many facilities, especially in the eastern United States, though it remains unclear why some bat species seem susceptible to collisions with the turbines and changes in atmospheric pressure immediately downwind of the turbine blades These fatalities raise concerns about potential cumulative impacts on bat populations at a time when many species of bats are known or suspected to be in decline from other non-wind energy-related factors, and the use of wind energy is increasing worldwide.

“The industry is working cooperatively with diverse partners toward solutions, and this study is critical to those efforts,” said AWEA Deputy Executive Director Tom Gray. “AWEA is very pleased with the progress the cooperative has made over the past several years and this study represents a key milestone in moving forward with developing solutions and bringing the best science to bear on this issue."

“The curtailment experiment is a great first mitigation method and it may provide an approach to reduce the impact to bats at wind plants, but we need to fully understand why and how bats are being killed in order to devise methods to avoid the impact,” said Bob Thresher, Wind Research Fellow at the NREL and former Director of the Department of Energy’s National Wind Technology Center.

The BWEC partners are hopeful that this field experiment will yield a solution to support wind power production in concert with wildlife protection and conservation.
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Siemens and USDA/ARS Partner in Pilot to Convert Second Generation Biofuel Feedstocks to Fuels and Chemicals

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. and the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) that will improve the processes used to convert second generation, non-food-based, biofuel feedstocks, including perennial grasses, animal wastes and agricultural residues such as corn stover, into liquid bio-fuel intermediates, such as bio-oil.

As part of the CRADA, Logical Innovations of Richmond, Va., will work with researchers at USDA/ARS's Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC) in Wyndmoor, Pa., to improve on pyrolysis oil production via innovative control technologies. They will install a distributed control system (DCS) based on Siemens SIMATIC(R) PCS 7 Box technology on ERRC's bench scale, fluidized bed pyrolysis system that heats the biomass in a reactor and converts it to liquid bio-oil, bio-char, and synthetic gas. The project will be commissioned in late 2008.

"We think distributed control will help accelerate second generation biofuels and biochemicals development by improving the repeatability, consistency and efficiency of our research processes," said USDA/ARS Research Leader Dr. Kevin Hicks.

According to Dave Hankins, vice president of Siemens Chemical and Pharmaceutical Center of Competence, the PCS 7 Box technology provides a new level of flexibility to biofuels producers, as well as improves worker safety and equipment protection.

"Siemens is proud to partner with the USDA in this important, environmentally friendly, pilot program," Hankins said. "This investment in the future of second generation feedstocks is another example of Siemens commitment to alternative fuel development and production. New feedstocks that can be quickly and easily processed will benefit the nation and the biochemicals and biofuels industries."

About Siemens:

Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. is one of Siemens' operating companies in the U.S. Headquartered in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta, Ga., Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. manufactures and markets one of the world's broadest ranges of electrical and electronic products, systems and services to industrial and construction market customers. Its technologies range from circuit protection and energy management systems to process control, industrial software and totally integrated automation solutions. The company also has expertise in systems integration, technical services and turnkey industrial systems. For more information: www.sea.siemens.com.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

East Coast Ethanol, LLC Will Become Biggest Supplier to Southeast U.S.

East Coast Ethanol, LLC is announcing the construction of a new 110-million gallon per year,
$216 million corn-based ethanol production facility near Jesup in Wayne County, Georgia.

The new Georgia ethanol operation is part of an $871 million investment by ECE - one of four plants to be built in the Southeast U.S. that will help solve the growing need for ethanol
fuel and our Nation's energy crisis by providing home-grown renewable fuel. This grassroots U.S. based firm will hire more than 40 employees locally and generate over $100,000,000 annually to the local economy.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

DOE Announces Additional Steps in Developing Sustainable Biofuels Industry

Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman and Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer today (October 7, 2008) released the National Biofuels Action Plan (NBAP). The Plan, developed by an interagency board co-chaired by DOE and USDA, outlines specific action areas and goals toward achieving renewable fuels production targets. Secretary Bodman also announced additional steps the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is taking to support the development of a sustainable biofuels industry: research to enable increased use of biofuels, deployment of cellulosic biorefineries, and biofuels research and development.

“The challenge is to find ways to go farther and to go faster – we must progress to the next level,” said Secretary Bodman. “That means we must accelerate the development and deployment of next generation biofuels, fuels made from cellulose, algae and from other non-food products as well as fuels compatible with our existing energy infrastructure including renewable diesel, green gasoline and bio-butanol.”

Increasing the Use of Biofuels
U.S. consumers already use E10, gasoline blended with 10 percent ethanol, in conventional vehicles and other engines. In order to meet the goals set forth in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, however, the U.S. will likely need to use higher blends of ethanol in conventional vehicles. To assess the potential impacts of higher blends of ethanol such as E15 and E20, gasoline blended with 15 and 20 percent ethanol, on conventional vehicles and other gasoline engines, DOE initiated a testing program in August 2007.

A preliminary report released today by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, provides results available to date from testing E15 and E20 on 13 vehicles and 28 small non-road engines, including lawn equipment and generators. The information reported today, along with data that will be collected over the course of this broad test program, will help determine whether higher blends of ethanol can be effectively used in conventional vehicles. The report showed that most of the regulated emissions with E15 and E20 were within the normal test variation, and no statistically-significant change was detected. While the data collected to date is encouraging, particularly with regard to regulated emissions, additional studies are needed on a wider range of vehicles and engines

Supporting Deployment of New Technologies
The deployment of cellulosic biorefineries is a critical pathway to meeting renewable fuels production mandates. Today, DOE announced additional funding with POET, LLC of Sioux Falls, S.D. This commercial-scale cellulosic biorefinery project was originally announced by Secretary Bodman in February 2007; today an additional phase of funding was announced. POET received $3.7 million in the first phase of funding under a cooperative agreement that covers initial design, permitting, and preparation of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation. Today in the second phase the Secretary announced POET would be awarded an additional award for up to $76.3 million in federal funding, subject to annual appropriations. Today’s funding supports final design, construction, and commissioning of the project to develop an economically viable cellulose-to-ethanol biorefinery that employs alternative energy technologies will be co-located at POET’s Emmetsburg, Iowa ethanol plant and will use corn cob, and potentially corn fiber, to increase plant production of ethanol by up to 25 million gallons per year. Subject to annual appropriations, DOE’s total investment in the POET project is up to $80 million, with an expected total project cost of nearly $200 million.

Pyrolysis Oils Projects
While supporting deployment and increased biofuels usage, DOE continues to focus on research and development of advanced biofuels technologies. Today, DOE announced the selection of five advanced biofuels projects up to $7 million, subject to annual appropriations. The five projects selected will develop cost-effective, environmentally friendly ways to convert non-food feedstocks into stabilized pyrolysis oils. These biologically-derived oils are generated through the rapid heating of biomass, for the ultimate production of transport fuel. Pyrolysis oils offer the potential of a greenhouse-gas neutral, renewable, and domestically produced alternative to petroleum-based fuels.

Five advanced biofuels projects received negotiation of awards:

UOP LLC (Des Plaines, Ill.) With partners: Ensyn Corp, DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, Colo.), DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Wash.) and USDA-Agricultural Research Service.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Blacksburg, Va. and New Brunswick, N.J.) With partner: Rutgers University.
Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa and Houston, Texas) With partner: ConocoPhillips.
RTI International (Research Triangle Park, N.C. and Decatur, Ill.)With partner: Archer Daniel Midland Co.
University of Massachusetts-Amherst (Amherst, Mass.) With partner: Renewable Oil International.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Outdated Regulations Slow Oil, Gas Drilling In Tennessee

(BUSINESS WIRE)--High crude oil and natural gas prices, new drilling technology and the state's Chattanooga Shale could combine to turn Tennessee into a significant oil and gas producing state, if enforcement of outdated regulations doesn't slow or even stop oil and gas exploration, said one industry official.

"We are currently producing crude oil and natural gas in 11 Tennessee counties, and there is potential for oil and gas producing from more than half of the state's counties," explained Scott Gilbert, President, Tennessee Oil & Gas Association (TOGA).

"Horizontal drilling in the Chattanooga Shale is a major factor in the growth of oil and gas development through a good portion of the state," said Scott. "And high crude oil and natural gas prices is another contributing factor.

"This could all come to a halt unless we can convince the state's Oil & Gas Board to make the kind of changes needed in the state's oil and gas regulations to stimulate oil and gas development rather than hold it back," he added.

Scott noted that many of the oil and gas regulations were written 30 or more years ago, when oil was less than $10 a barrel and natural gas was just flared into the atmosphere. Today oil prices are nearly $100 and natural gas is selling for $8 or more an mcf.

"Thirty years ago, if a well didn't flow oil when it was drilled in, it was considered a dry hole. Fifty years ago, all too often dry holes were not plugged and were just open. Thus, the regulation that require either producing or plugging all wells.

"With today's technology, we can turn many old wells that appear to be dry into a substantial oil or gas producer. But if the state forces old wells to be plugged, they can seldom, if ever be reopened," Gilbert noted.

"In addition, it often takes months or even years to drill enough gas wells to justify a pipeline. If we are forced, by the Water Pollution Control Division, to plug a well within six months, there would be very few wells drilled for gas, and certainly no wildcat wells where the operator may have to wait for many years for a pipeline," he added.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

American Wind Energy Statement on Senate Passage of Financial Rescue Package

Randall Swisher, executive director of the American Wind Energy Association, issued the following statement upon Senate passage of the financial rescue package, which includes a one-year extension of tax credits for wind and other renewable energy sources.

“Our members are very pleased by the Senate’s overwhelming vote of support for the renewable energy tax credits. Continuing this economic incentive means wind power companies can continue to supply an increasing percentage of U.S. electricity needs with a clean, cost-effective source of energy.

“We’re also gratified to have bipartisan support, which is absolutely essential if we as a nation are to make progress on our energy challenges. We look forward to favorable consideration in the House of Representatives.

“Wind energy producers are proud to be part of America’s energy and climate solution, and proud of the thousands of jobs we provide at a time of economic turmoil and uncertainty.”
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Helping Hands Clean Up Creek Beds and Banks

PRNewswire/ -- Employees of Georgia Electric Membership Corp. (EMC), Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp. will join forces on Saturday, Oct. 4 to lend support and considerable "sweat equity" during Hands on Atlanta (HOA) Day.

More than 140 employees, friends and family members will gather at Mason Mill Park near Toco Hills to clean up the banks and surrounding areas of Burnt Fork Creek. The community service effort will benefit the Rivers Alive project, Georgia's annual volunteer waterway cleanup event. Last year, volunteers collected a ton of trash -- literally, one metric ton -- during the three-hour project.

Hands On Atlanta Day has become the largest centralized day of service in the nation and serves as a catalyst for corporate community service within Hands On Georgia (HOGA) Week, an initiative launched by Gov. Sonny Perdue in 2004. This year, HOGA Week projects will take place in all 159 counties in the state. Last year, more than 68,000 Georgians participated in service projects across the state during HOGA Week.

The mission of Rivers Alive is to create awareness of and involvement in the preservation of Georgia's water resources. Sponsored by the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources; Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Program and Georgia Dept. of Community Affairs' Keep Georgia Beautiful Program, in cooperation with "Help the Hooch," Rivers Alive is a statewide event that targets cleanups across all waterways in Georgia.

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Coalition of Close to 700 Companies and Organization Urges Congress to Act on Tax Credits

A broad coalition of nearly 700 businesses, environmental organizations, public health advocates, electric utilities, agricultural organizations, investors, labor groups, non-governmental organizations, states, and trade associations today urged the House and Senate to put aside their differences and pass legislation that would renew tax cuts for renewable energy, research and development and other purposes.

In a letter to bipartisan Congressional leadership, companies and organizations from across the political spectrum urged that when the House and Senate consider the financial rescue package, which the House rejected on Monday, they “secure a final House – Senate agreement” on the tax extenders legislation.

The companies warned that failure to pass the legislation this week would jeopardize “hundreds of thousands of jobs, billions of dollars in clean energy investment, crucial incentives for research and development, and a range of popular programs.”

The tax extender legislation is now part of the financial rescue plan that will be voted on by the Senate Wednesday and, if it passes, will be forwarded to the House for approval.

“We need immediate action. If Congress fails to complete this effort, it will be a serious blow to the future of renewable energy in America.” said Gregory Wetstone, Senior Director for Legislative and Public Affairs at the American Wind Energy Association.
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Department of Energy Approves Request for Release of Crude from Strategic Petroleum Reserve

U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman approved a request today from Governor Sonny Perdue for additional releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to refineries in the Gulf Coast region.

“Today the Department approved an additional release of up to 900,000 barrels of crude oil from the SPR for two refiners that have not been able to obtain adequate supplies due to the ongoing disruptions,” Secretary Bodman wrote. “With this additional release, the total amount provided from the SPR to refineries will be approximately 5.7 million barrels since September 3, 2008.”

Governor Perdue asked for the additional releases on Monday after hearing that refineries may have excess capacity as they restart their operations.

“These crude releases will help ensure that the Southeast continues to receive consistent fuel supplies as we continue to see more stations receive fuel and lines shorten,” Governor Perdue said. “I appreciate the Administration’s quick response and their concern for the fuel shortages we have experienced.”

Out-of-state haulers

After yesterday’s announcement that the Department of Revenue will grant temporary waivers for out-of-state haulers to bring in supplies to Georgia, the state has identified new suppliers that are bringing in at least 150,000 additional gallons of fuel per day. That number could grow as additional suppliers are identified in other states that have excess capacity that they can bring to Georgia.

These supplies include both regular fuel and diesel, and will be distributed throughout the state based on identified acute shortages. Diesel will be directed to any first responders and school systems that are seeing low supplies and to the state’s major agriculture centers so that farmers continue to have a strong supply available.

The DOR temporary waiver allows out-of-state haulers that do not hold a current Georgia motor fuel license to bring supplies into Georgia as long as they apply for a Georgia license within 72 hours. These haulers would normally have to apply and be granted a license before coming into the state.

DOE Update

The Department of Energy also released an update on the recovery of fuel production in the Gulf Coast.

Power outages – Outages are now down to just 35,000 people without power in Texas. Crews are making rapid progress restoring power – about 154,000 people were reported without power on Monday.

Percent “shut-in” – The U.S. Department of Energy reports 57.1 percent of crude oil production capacity in the Gulf of Mexico is offline. This is a slight improvement from Monday, when 57.4 percent of capacity was out.

Refineries – Only one refinery remains completely shut down, and only three refineries are considered “restarting”. This is significant progress as almost all refineries are either back to normal or seeing reduced production.

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_21_Ike_100108_12PM.pdf .
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