USDA and DOE Announce Renewable Conference

Cindy Zimmerman

Mike Johannsenergy secretary U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman today announced that the two agencies will co-host a national renewable energy conference to help create partnerships and strategies necessary to accelerate commercialization of renewable energy industries and distribution systems, the crux of President Bush’s Advanced Energy Initiative. According to a USDA release, the conference, Advancing Renewable Energy: An American Rural Renaissance, is scheduled for October 10-12, 2006, in St. Louis, Missouri.
Among the goals for the conference is raising public awareness and I asked the Secretaries if they had any ideas for doing that. Listen to their answers here: Listen to MP3 Johanns and Bodman (3 min MP3)

Ethanol, Government

NE Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy

Chuck Zimmerman

Nebraska Lt. Governor Rick SheehyI didn’t get my own photo of Nebraska Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy today so I borrowed this one from his website. However, I did get to speak with him after our Omaha press conference.

He’s a real ethanol supporter as you’ll hear in our interview. Sheehy says that in just a few years Nebraska will be producing over 1 billion gallons of ethanol.

Listen to Lt. Governor Sheehy’s interview here: Listen to MP3 Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy Interview (2 min MP3)

Domestic Fuel coverage and participation in the AASHTO Interstate 50th Convoy is sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

Audio, Ethanol, Interstate Highway

Other Convoy Bloggers

Chuck Zimmerman

I think it’s fascinating that I’m not the only blogger on this trip. There are several of us and you ought to check them out. Here’s a list of them which you can find on the AASHTO website.

  • Merrill Eisenhower Atwater
    A great-grandson of President Eisenhower and a communications major at Missouri Western State University. He will be chronicling the trip and sharing family recollections.
  • Dana Alexander Nolfe
    Dana Alexander Nolfe, the Chief Public Affairs Officer for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, shares her impressions of the trip and of how America loves its highways and byways in her blog, Life on the Highway.
  • Roadside Conversations
    The Roadside Conversations team has a blog, News from the side of the road, where they describe their experiences on the trip and in setting up their Airstream Travel Trailer with advanced audio-visual recording and playback facilities.
  • Dave Humphreys
    Convoy speaker and former Recreational Vehicles Industry Association President Dave Humphreys has a journal of his convoy trip at RV Trade Digest’s website. You can view it in the Breaking News section on the right side of the page.
  • Steve Jarriel
    Steve Jarriel, reporter for NCNTV, who is accomponying the convoy and appearing on NCN’s daily webcasts, shares reflections on his trip in a blog. You can view it by scrolling down to the very bottom of the page.
  • Interstate Highway

    The Commissioner on Ethanol

    Chuck Zimmerman

    Tailgator on EthanolWe met the Commissioner of Tailgating, Joe Cahn, the other day. He was out in the sun tailgating again today.

    This time we were treated to some excellent jambalaya and bratwurst.

    If you ever have a chance to attend a Joe Cahn tailgate party I highly recommend it. He’s a great guy with an awesome perspective and outlook on life and I’m glad to have met him.

    Before saying goodbye to Joe I got this little video clip to share with you. Joe says corn is hard to find in Nebraska to cook with and explains why: Watch wmv file Commissioner Cahn on Ethanol (1 min WMV)

    Domestic Fuel coverage and participation in the AASHTO Interstate 50th Convoy is sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

    Ethanol, Interstate Highway, Video

    Mini Semi Entertains

    Chuck Zimmerman

    Mini SemiAt the end of our Omaha press conference at Werner Enterprises, we had a little fun when a remote controlled truck made the rounds.

    It’s the little guy in the bottom of the picture.

    Of course this was a video moment and I got it for you: Watch wmv file Mini Semi (1 min WMV)

    Domestic Fuel coverage and participation in the AASHTO Interstate 50th Convoy is sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

    Interstate Highway, Video

    Todd Sneller Interview

    Chuck Zimmerman

    Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman & Todd SnellerTodd Sneller, Administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board (right of NE Gov. Dave Heineman) says that the board was created to help consumers understand and know that ethanol is safe to put in their vehicles. He says they conducted a 2.2 million mile test of ethanol blends in the mid 1970’s to get EPA certification.

    Listen to Todd’s interview here: Listen to MP3 Todd Sneller Interview (3 min MP3)

    Domestic Fuel coverage and participation in the AASHTO Interstate 50th Convoy is sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

    Audio, Ethanol, Interstate Highway

    Nebraska Ethanol Board

    Chuck Zimmerman

    Todd SnellerI got some support here in Omaha from the Nebraska Ethanol Board. Administrator, Todd Sneller came out in the Governor’s E85 Avalanche.

    Later on I’ll add an interview with Todd in which he explains what the Nebraska Ethanol Board does. They have some interesting programs that include research I think you’ll want to know more about.

    Domestic Fuel coverage and participation in the AASHTO Interstate 50th Convoy is sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

    Interstate Highway

    Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman

    Chuck Zimmerman

    Nebraska Governor Dave HeinemanNebraska Governor, Dave Heineman spoke at our press conference here in Omaha this morning. Afterward I got to meet and interview him.

    Nebraska is the 3rd largest ethanol producing state. Heineman describes how important ethanol and the highway system is economically to his state.

    Here’s my interview with the Governor: Listen to MP3 Governor Dave Heineman Interview (1 min MP3)

    You can hear Governor Heineman’s remarks to the AASHTO group here: Listen to MP3 Governor Dave Heineman’s Remarks (5 min MP3)

    Domestic Fuel coverage and participation in the AASHTO Interstate 50th Convoy is sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

    Audio, Interstate Highway

    Omaha Press Conference

    Chuck Zimmerman

    Omaha Press ConferenceTo our pleasant surprise today, the Governor of Nebraska attended our press conference here in Omaha. Right now I’m in the parking lot of the QWest Center where we have a traffic mobility showcase taking place. The Ethanol Truck is on display here with materials to hand out to the public.

    Since I’m only connected by my Sprint card I’ll upload and add some audio to this and the next couple posts later this evening.

    Our press conference this morning was held at the Werner Enterprises headquarters. They have a beautiful facility and it’s their 50 year anniversary so that coincided well with the AASHTO Celebrate the Interstate Convoy trip.

    Domestic Fuel coverage and participation in the AASHTO Interstate 50th Convoy is sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

    Interstate Highway

    Corn Grower & Shop Manager

    Chuck Zimmerman

    Grand Island Welcome CrewThe Grand Island/Hall County Convention & Visitors Bureau welcomed us to our fuel stop yesterday with bottled water and candy bars. Thank you.

    I interviewed the Travel Center of America shop manager, Bill Buettner (left) and found out that he’s also a corn grower and ethanol enthusiast.

    Bill says that since they’ve labelled their pumps and blended ethanol he hasn’t really had much feedback from customers. He assumes that’s because consumers accept it more now than they used to.

    Here’s my interview with Bill: Listen to MP3 Bill Buettner Interview (2 min MP3)

    Domestic Fuel coverage and participation in the AASHTO Interstate 50th Convoy is sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

    Audio, Ethanol, Interstate Highway