Members Assist with Hurricanes Michael, Florence Relief Efforts

Member companies have sent help to the areas devasted by recent hurricanes Michael and Florence.

Thousands of workers from Alabama Power, the Tennessee Valley Authority, PowerSouth, the Electric Cities of Alabama, the Alabama Rural Electric Association and the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority were sent, along with trucks, helicopters, maintenance teams and support staff to work hand-in-hand with onsite utilities and electric cooperatives to restore power to homes and businesses.

After helping customers and members in Alabama, crews traveled to help residents in other states.

“Our members are dedicated to assisting others during times like this and stand ready to offer their expertise. Alabamians are known for our generosity and willingness to help, and this is a prime example of their willingness to help others,” said Seth Hammett, chairman, Energy Institute of Alabama.


Low-Cost, Clean Energy Fuels North Alabama’s Growth

By: Seth Hammett, chairman

Alabama’s Department of Commerce is committed to attracting high-wage jobs to our state. That hard work is crucial to the economic development success the state has realized over the past 20 years. We are proud of the industries that thrive here, and we are always actively seeking new businesses to call Alabama home

Manufacturing remains a key component within Alabama’s economic structure – employing more than 270,000 people. The state of Alabama is dedicated to keeping our position as the top manufacturing state in the country by creating more jobs in areas such as automotive, technology and aerospace industries.

Just this year, there have been many significant projects announced, such as the building of the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA Inc., facility that will employ more than 4,000 people. Facebook is also joining the Huntsville community by building a $750 million data center that will be open in 2020. Since January, several more companies have committed to expanding into the North Alabama region. These projects will inject about $2 billion into the local economy and employ thousands of our friends and neighbors.

The Wall Street Journal recently named Huntsville as one of the “next tech hotspots” in the U.S.  North Alabama is suitable for many types of businesses such as technology, advanced manufacturing and distribution. These industries thrive in this region for many reasons, including tax incentives and access to major transportation systems.

The 13-county region has a population of approximately1.1 million and is home to more than 1,200 manufacturing facilities. The Alabama Department of Commerce reported that although North Alabama comprises 16 percent of the geographic area of the state, the region has received 35 percent of the new manufacturing projects since the first of the year.

We must continue to support our clean, affordable energy sources, like that of the Tennessee Valley Authority, to ensure these manufacturing facilities will continue to choose Alabama. The energy industry in Alabama is a vital component in the state’s overall economic development. Industries such as electricity production and distribution not only create high-paying jobs, but they also make Alabama a leader in total energy production nationwide.

Alabama’s energy industry creates a large, positive impact on the state’s economic infrastructure. According to the Energy Institute of Alabama, the total economic impact of Alabama’s energy industry is $13.22 billion, and it generates 124,000 jobs within the state. Electricity production alone makes an $8.24 billion economic impact.

We should be proud of how far Alabama has come in the recent years. The state is committed to offering a supportive environment that is dedicated to helping businesses, small and large, succeed.

Without clean, affordable, reliable energy available from utilities to industries seeking new frontiers for expansion, Alabama would not be enjoying such a vibrant economy. Although we have had outstanding success in attracting new businesses to our communities, we must continue to capitalize on our energy industry to help enhance the quality of life for residents throughout our state.


Affiliate Spotlight: APC

From life-saving medical devices and 3-D printers to clothing and cell phones, natural gas and oil not only fuel transportation but supply the building blocks and power to manufacture everyday products while boosting innovations that support prosperity and discovery.

America’s natural gas and oil industry supports 10.3 million total U.S. jobs– not just in production and refining but in related industries like construction, manufacturing and service and supply firms – including local small businesses that provide everything from tools to hard hats to software. For each direct natural gas and oil industry job, 2.7 jobs are supported elsewhere in the economy.

That economic activity, across all 50 states, generated $1.3 trillion for the national economy and $714 billion in labor income in 2015. The women and men of the industry drive an energy renaissance that has made the United States the world leader in natural gas and oil production and refining – enhancing energy security for America and our allies while supplying clean natural gas that has helped cut U.S. carbon emissions to 25-year lows.

Representing all facets of the industry is the American Petroleum Institute, a national trade association, and standards organization. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. Partnering with the best and brightest technical experts from government, academia, and industry, API has developed almost 700 standards to enhance the safety of our workers and protect the community and environment. API standards have been incorporated in federal and state regulations, and widely cited by the international regulatory community.

The Alabama Petroleum Council is one of dozens of state and global offices that work to promote API’s safety mission locally and to influence public policy in support of a strong U.S. oil and natural gas industry.

Building a better future takes energy. Through innovation and dedication, API members help the United States power past impossible every day.

Jon Barganier serves as Executive Director for the Alabama Petroleum Council, a division of the American Petroleum Institute. His background includes political appointments in three Alabama gubernatorial administrations ranging from positions in the State Department of Finance to various leadership roles within the Governor’s Office. He may be reached at or 334-834-9707.


Prepare Now for Weather Ahead

Even though October has been a warm month, we all know that the weather will eventually turn cold. To prepare for the chilly times ahead, you may want to consider some of the precautions listed below:

Wrap your pipes with insulation to keep them from bursting. Water can turn into ice, which could create pressure on the pipe. No one wants the mess and headache that a broken pipe can cause.

Properly insulating your attic is a great way to keep heat inside your home, rather than it seeping out. Up to 30 percent of your house’s heat can escape through a poorly insulated roof.

Cleaning out your gutters can also save your home from ice and water damage. If rain and melted ice are not allowed to flow easily, then they can leak into your home and cause mold, holes and other issues.

Don’t forget about your car. Check your treads and your anti-freeze.

Windows let the sunshine in, but they can also let the toasty air out. Prevent this by ensuring they are properly sealed when closed.

Keep the rodents outside. They are also seeking cozy places during the cold weather. Check your home for any holes that may need plugging.

By adopting these preventive measures, you, your friends and your family can enjoy the cold weather outside and not bring it inside.


Pre-Commitments Still Being Accepted for Tag

The EIA’s Thank a Lineman tag is still available for pre-commitment. So far, over 250 individuals have registered for the only tag recognizing the contributions made on a daily basis by the state’s utility industry.

Those wanting to purchase the tag may do so by visiting the Alabama Department of Revenue website, Once the tag has received 1,000 pre-commitments, it will then go into production.

Blake Hardwich, EIA executive director, added, “Our hopes that proceeds from the sale of the tag will benefit 501(c)(3) charities that support linemen, utility workers, and their families.”


Remember to Vote!

Our next election is slated for Tues., Nov. 6. If you have any questions about your voting status or where you vote, then visit the Secretary of State’s website here. 


Mark Your Calendar

 The next Energy Day will be held in Montgomery on April 9, 2019. Stay tuned for more information.