Fall 2017 Newsletter

EIA Board Visits Congress

Our mission:

To promote reliable, affordable, and clean energy to help grow our economy, create high-paying jobs, and build public support for Alabama’s energy industry.

Letter from the Chairman

From EIA Board Chairman Seth Hammett:
It’s been a busy quarter for EIA. We have been on the road sharing our message of affordable, reliable, and clean energy for Alabamians. We also emphasized the tremendous impact our industry has on the state’s economy.

This message was at the forefront during our board members’ fly-in to Washington, DC, in early October. We met with members of our congressional delegation and with staff from the Department of Energy. These meetings were productive, positive, and will foster a continuing dialogue and relationship with them.

Back in Alabama we hosted legislators and others who toured some of TVAs facilities in Northwest Alabama. It was a delight to see their state-of-the-art operations. You can read more about our trip later in this newsletter.

On a personal note, I had the pleasure of speaking before several groups during the past few months, including the Tombigbee Waterway Association (Tennessee); the Alabama Coalbed Methane Association; the Alabama Rural Electric Association (summer conference); the Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway Association and various Kiwanis and Rotary clubs.

Although nothing can replace in-person conversations, we realize that we should expand our reach. To accomplish this, we have embarked on a public awareness campaign using digital media. We presently have a series of banner ads and videos running that you can view by clicking About EIA, Jobs and Testimonials. Many thanks to three of our senior policy advisers, Dr. Chuck Karr, Dr. Steven E. Taylor and Dr. Corey Tyree, for adding their expertise to the campaign.

Affiliate Spotlights
Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition

Why we joined EIA:
“We are pleased to be an Energy Institute of Alabama affiliate. The Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition, a nonprofit membership-based organization, is the state’s principle coordinating point for alternative transportation fuels and a member of the US Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program. The promotion of clean, renewable, domestic energy sources helps to reduce our dependence on foreign oil; improves local air quality; and, increases economic development investment in our local communities,” said ACFC Executive Director Mark Bentley.

About ACFC:
The ACFC serves as the principle coordinating point for clean, alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle activities in Alabama.

The Clean Cities program was established in 1993 by the U.S. Department of Energy to facilitate voluntary public/private partnerships around the country to create viable markets for clean, alternative fuel vehicles.

ACFC was incorporated in 2002 as an Alabama 501c3 non-profit. We received our designation as a designated Clean Cities coalition in 2009 and was re-designated in 2014.

Today a national network of nearly 100 Clean Cities coalitions brings together stakeholders in the public and private sectors to deploy alternative and renewable fuels, idle-reduction measures, fuel economy improvements, and emerging transportation technologies.

National Clean Cities Facts
Since its inception in 1993, Clean Cities and its stakeholders have displaced more than 2 billion gallons of petroleum. The goal of Clean cities is to expand and stimulate alternative fuel and advanced technology markets to reduce petroleum consumption by 2.5 billion gallons by 2020. Clean Cities is focusing on three primary methods to achieve this goal: Replacement, Reduction and Elimination.

Coalitions and their stakeholders promote and support state and local policies to advance the goal of energy independence, such as tax incentives for deployment of various alternative fuels and acquisition of more fuel-efficient vehicles, research and development efforts related to advanced vehicle technologies, and biofuels production.

These and other community and state incentives and policies will help encourage petroleum alternatives and will improve the energy security of Alabama and the United States.

We are facing a critical time in our nation’s history. The transition to a sustainable portfolio of energy options enables us to create new American jobs, improve air quality, and is a critical step in restoring our prosperity and addressing longer term security and environmental concerns.

To learn more about us, visit www.alabamacleanfuels.org.

Southeast Gas

Why we joined EIA:
“We appreciate the work of the EIA because they, like Southeast Gas, put people at the forefront of what they do. It’s about providing reliable and affordable clean fuels that, in turn, create jobs for Alabamians. This is a benefit to all of us and our economy,” said Wiley Lott, director of external affairs and economic development.

About Southeast Gas:
The Southeast Alabama Gas District was formed in January of 1952 to provide natural gas service to the cities of Andalusia, Abbeville, Brundidge, Dothan, Elba, Enterprise, Eufaula, Fort Deposit, Greenville, Headland, Luverne, Opp, Ozark and Troy. Each of those cities owned, and still owns, an equal share of the gas district, and continues to be represented equally on the SEAGD Board of Directors.

At the company’s first board meeting on February 22, 1952, Tracey B. Wilder of Andalusia was named President of the Board. The board set its meetings at that time to be held quarterly in the town of Gantt, and the company engaged Goodwin Engineers to orchestrate the construction of its gas system throughout Southeast Alabama. Some cities already had infrastructure in place, and that part of the system was improved to tie all of the natural gas lines within the gas district’s service area together.

Natural gas service was officially “turned on” on November 1, 1955, after three years of construction to complete the infrastructure in Andalusia and the other 13 towns. Price Aycock of Huntsville was named as the company’s first Manager on April 1, 1955 and was paid a salary of $7,000. R.J. Smith was the next Manager, and served the company until the mid-1980s. James H. (Jim) Smith was hired and replaced R.J. Smith as General Manager. Jim’s title was later changed to President & CEO, and upon Jim’s retirement in 2006, Greg Henderson was named President & CEO, and currently serves the company in that position.

The Southeast Alabama Gas District now serves 30,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in 34 communities throughout the Southeast quadrant of Alabama.

To learn more, go to www.southeastgas.com.

SSEB Highlights First Energy Day

The Southern States Energy Board, a non-profit interstate compact comprised of representatives from 16 states and two territories, recently featured EIA’s Energy Day in its 2017 Annual Report. You can read the excerpt below:

On April 19, the Southern States Energy Board joined the Energy Institute of Alabama to host the state’s first Energy Day. Energy sector leaders and state policymakers assembled for a wide-ranging discussion of the current and future state of the energy industry.

The board’s Secretary and Executive Director, Ken Nemeth, moderated an expert panel discussion that covered a variety of topics ranging from expected federal regulation changes from the new Trump Administration to the importance of educating the work force to handle jobs in the changing energy industry. Panelists were Tennessee Valley Authority President and CEO Bill Johnson; State Geologist and Oil and Gas Supervisor of Alabama Nick Tew; PowerSouthPresident and CEO Gary Smith; Alabama Power Executive Vice President of External Affairs Zeke Smith; Coalbed Methane Association Executive Director Dennis Lathem; and, ExxonMobil Mobile Bay Operations Manager Chris Golden.

State Representative Randy Davis, Vice Chairman of the Southern States Energy Board, welcomed guests to the event, as did his colleagues, Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon, Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh and Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed. Their fellow members of the Alabama Legislature were present, as well as a contingent from the United Mine Workers of America.

To view the SSEB’s report and learn more about them, visit www.sseb.org.

Board Tours TVA

The Tennessee Valley Authority, an EIA member, recently invited the board, legislators and EIA affiliates to visit some of its facilities. TVA serves Alabamians in several northern counties and is owned by the federal government.

One of the sites the board saw was Wilson Dam which is nestled between Lauderdale and Colbert counties and sits on the Tennessee River. Not only is it a site to behold—4541’ long by 137’ high—it’s also a registered National Historic Landmark, as it was built in 1918, a year after the United States entered World War I. It is the only neoclassical-style dam in the TVA system, integrating themes of ancient Roman and Greek architecture into the modern structure.

The federal government built two nitrate plants at Muscle Shoals for production of explosives, and Wilson Dam was constructed to supply the electricity needed to power those plants. TVA acquired it in 1933.

It is a valuable hydro-electric resource generating a net dependable capacity of 663 megawatts through 21 units. And, via Wilson Lake, it offers a place for outdoor activities, such as boating, swimming and fishing.

Representatives from TVA also took the group to one of its power shops where experts provide repair and maintenance of power system components and large industrial equipment. With world-class facilities and a workforce of nearly 500, the team offers fast service not only to the TVA system, but also to other utilities and industries.

In addition, the TVA power maintenance team offers mobile services and can work at other locations or in their 750,000 square-foot facility in Muscle Shoals.

Upcoming Events

Energy Day, Feb. 6, 2018
Lineman Appreciation Day, June 4, 2018