Handing Over The Keys

Chuck Zimmerman

Ed Peper & Becky SkillmanOne of the speakers at today’s Ethanol Summit was Ed Peper, General Manager of Chevrolet. He’s pictured here with Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman.

I interviewed Ed about General Motors committment to alternative fuel vehicles (AFV’s) after his remarks to the Summit attendees. He made it very clear that GM is in the alternative fuels business to stay. He says they were the first manufacturer to get involved and they have the most AFV’s on the road today.

You can listent to my interview with Ed here: Listen To MP3 Ed Peper Interview (3 min MP3)

Ed Peper & Becky SkillmanDuring Ed’s presentation he highlighted GM’s continued involvement in the Indianapolis 500 as well as their commitment to Indiana and the E-85 flex fuel initiative. He also presented the keys to a new Chevrolet E-85 Tahoe to the Lt. Governor, which she will use as an educational tool to promote the use of renewable fuels.

The Tahoe also symbolizes Indiana’s committment to agriculture and the environment. This is the second year that GM has provided a vehicle to the state as part of the Governor’s ethanol coalition. General Motors is currently the largest producer of E-85 flesible fuels vehicles with nearly 2 million on the road. There are over 70,000 GM E-85 vehicles in Indiana. They have five plants in the state, over 200 GM dealers, and over 10,000 employees.

Audio, Car Makers, EPIC, Ethanol, Indy Racing, Promotion

Pace Truck Laps

Chuck Zimmerman

Pace TruckAfter the Ethanol Summit program was over, it was time for a ride around the track. USDA Under Secretary Tom Dorr is inside the truck you see here on his second lap.

I got to ride in the truck afterward. They allowed 3 of us to ride along with the driver. I interviewed them all as we were making our laps today in the Chevrolet Ethanol Pace Truck.

Inside Pace TruckThe guys in the truck with me were Dan Edwards, Indy Track Racking Operations Director (driver), National Corn Growers Association Chairman, Leon Corzine and Waitt Farm Network Director, Emery Kleven. Emery took the picture of me in the back seat with Leon. You can listen to the interview here: Listen To MP3 Indy Pace Truck Interview (3 min MP3)

Just to make it interesting I also shot video clips. The first one here is a Pace Truck drive-by with the USDA Sec. inside. The second one is my ride inside the truck while doing the interview you can hear above.

Watch WMV Pace Car Drive-By (1 min wmv)

Watch WMV Pace Car Laps (3 min wmv)

Audio, EPIC, Ethanol, Indy Racing, Racing, Video

Ethanol Summit Panel

Chuck Zimmerman

Ethanol Summit PanelAt the conclusion of today’s Ethanol Summit, a little panel discussion was held.

Pictured are (l-r) EPIC Executive Director, Tom Slunecka, Indiana Lt. Governor, Becky Skillman and USDA Under Secretary Tom Dorr.

I shot a short video clip of one of their answers for you.

You can watch it here: Watch WMV Ethanol Summit Panel (3 min wmv)

EPIC, Ethanol, Video

Update From Ethanol Car Driver

Chuck Zimmerman

Jeff Simmons and MeI had to get in one picture today! Here I’m interviewing Jeff Simmons, driver of the Rahal-Letterman Ethanol Car.

Jeff describes how his backup car is performing. He had to move to it after a little wall incident with the other car last week.

Jeff also says that the attention ethanol is getting from the people here at the Ethanol Summit, like USDA Under Sec. Tom Dorr, is overdue.

You can listen my interview with Jeff here: Listen To MP3 Jeff Simmons Interview (2 min MP3)

Audio, EPIC, Ethanol, Indy Racing, Racing

EPIC Executive Director

Chuck Zimmerman

Tom SluneckaThe Executive Director for the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council is Tom Slunecka, who spoke to the crowd at the Ethanol Summit just a little while ago.

Tom made a point of saying how important a role the media and consumers play in the development of alternative fuels like ethanol. He urged consumers to look at what the gas pump is providing and if it doesn’t have ethanol, to ask for it.

I recorded Tom’s remarks for you. You can listen to them here: Listen To MP3 Tom Slunecka Remarks (5 min MP3)

Audio, EPIC, Ethanol, Indy Racing

USDA Provides Financial Assistance

Chuck Zimmerman

USDA Under Secretary Tom DorrThe keynote speaker today at the Ethanol Summit here at the Indianapolis Speedway was USDA Under Secretary Tom Dorr.

I interviewed the Secretary and asked him what his department is doing to assist in the development of alternative fuels. He says that the main ways they help are by providing small grants to companies that are starting up and developing alternative fuel alternatives like ethanol and then some initial financing in the form of low interest loans.

You can listen to my interview with Secretary Dorr here: Listen To MP3 Secretary Dorr Interview (4 min MP3)

Audio, EPIC, Ethanol, Government, Indy Racing

Greg Dana Remarks

Chuck Zimmerman

Greg DanaOne of the first speakers at today’s Ethanol Summit was the late Paul Dana’s brother Greg.

Greg talked about the vision and mission Paul had in bringing together the ethanol industry and the IRL. He paid a great tribute to his brother and I have to believe it was a tough thing to do here today in front of so many people in the industry who worked with and miss Paul. He did a great job though and I’ve got his full comments for you.

You can listen to Greg’s remarks here: Listen To MP3 Greg Dana Remarks (7 min MP3)

Audio, EPIC, Ethanol, Indy Racing

Farmer and Administrator Meet Up

Chuck Zimmerman

Len Corzine & Tom DorrPrior to the start of the program here at the Ethanol Summit at the Indianapolis Speedway the chairman of the National Corn Growers Association, Leon Corzine (left), met with USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development, Tom Dorr.

It’s not the first time the Secretary has been here in Indianapolis and I’m sure it won’t be his last.

Dorr’s department is very involved with assisting in the growth of infrastructure for alternative fuels around the country as you’ll hear in a post coming up with my interview with him.

EPIC, Ethanol, Indy Racing

Ethanol Summit Underway

Chuck Zimmerman

Tony GeorgeThe Ethanol Summit is now in full swing. Buddy Rahal and his 3 drivers got us started with short statements. Tony George, President of the IRL, (pictured) just finished speaking.

Right now Greg Dana, brother to the late Paul Dana is speaking. It’s a very emotional moment and you can hear it in his voice. I know we all wish Paul was still here with us to celebrate this week’s race and the use of ethanol in the Indy car tanks.

I’ll have a number of posts with audio for you after the morning’s activities are completed. Coming up on the agenda are several more speakers.

EPIC, Ethanol, Indy Racing, Racing