Alabama Forms Committee to Develop Alternative Energy Policy

February 07, 2007

Governor Bob Riley and Commissioner Ron Sparks of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries announced February 5 that they have formed a committee to develop a comprehensive alternative energy policy. Alabama is one of the few states that does not have a formal energy policy.

The Alabama Alternative Energy Committee is made up of energy experts and leaders from the state’s universities, forestry and agriculture sectors, manufacturers, energy providers, and state and local government officials. Currently, the committee has about 65 members, but it could grow if others express an interest in joining, Riley said. The group will make recommendations that the governor can implement by executive order and that the legislature can make into law.

"This bipartisan alliance will work to find common ground on proposals that promote homegrown sources of energy," Governor Riley said in a February 6 press release. "We are eager to advance the development of renewable energy resources that help secure our energy future and also provide an opportunity for rural economic development in Alabama."

In the same press release Sparks said, "This committee will ensure that we are heading in the right direction. Not only does producing fuel right here in Alabama help our farmers by creating a demand for their products, it will also allow us to become less dependent on foreign oil."

In Plan 2010, which he proposed last fall, Riley said he wanted to encourage the commercial development and private use of alternative fuels in Alabama. Sparks created the Center for Alternative Fuels within the state agriculture department, which is focused on promoting the development and use of alternative fuels. For more information on the Center for Alternative Fuels, see the December 4, 2006 article on the EERE Web site.

For more information on the formation of the committee, see the governor’s February 6 press release.