NGA receives DOE funds to enact energy policies

By Timothy Charles Holmseth | July 08, 2008
Web exclusive posted July 17, 2008 at 3:24 p.m. CST

The U.S. DOE has announced it will provide $850,000 to support the National Governors Association's work to enact energy policies at the state level. The funds will be used to help develop and deploy cleaner sources of energy to power vehicles, homes and workplaces more efficiently.

"Today's announcement furthers the unprecedented energy cooperation between DOE and the nation's governors as we work together to advance clean, reliable, and affordable supplies of energy," said DOE Assistant Secretary Alexander Karsner.

The funding will support the securing of a clean energy initiative set forth by Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, whose NGA chairmanship ended July 14. "Ethanol and biodiesel are certainly fuels that are on the table that the governors are looking at," said Christopher Cashman, spokesman for the NGA. "One of the national summits that we held as part of the initiative (last December) was to focus on increasing alterative fuel access in the state," he said, adding that the focus will also reach vehicles that could use that fuel.

"[We will look at] what states can do to perpetuate clean fuels like ethanol and biodiesel in the future," Cashman said.

Although Pawlenty's term as chair ended Monday, his efforts will remain in place. "NGA is still working towards securing a clean energy initiative," Cashman said. "The money that DOE has committed to us is to support the work of that initiative."

The $850,000 represents one year of funding for a five-year plan; more funding will be issued in the future, Cashman said.

Pennsylvania Gov.Ed Rendell has now begun his tenure as chair of the NGA and he too will begin an initiative. "He's going to use his tenure as chair of NGA to focus on building America's infrastructure," Cashman said.