Hammett to lead new Energy Institute

Published 10:03 am Thursday, April 21, 2016

Andalusia’s Seth Hammett, former Alabama Speaker of the House, will lead a new nonprofit organization focused on the state’s energy industry, the Energy Institute of Alabama (EIA).

The new non-profit brings together experts from the energy sector who will work to ensure strong, policies are put into place to protect the consumer, good-paying industry jobs and the future of clean, reliable, and affordable energy, the group announced Thursday.

Alabama Power Company, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Alabama Municipal Electric Authority, the Alabama Rural Electric Association, Electric Cities of Alabama and PowerSouth Energy, where Hammett is an executive, joined forces to form EIA.

“We want to encourage public support for the energy industry in our state,” Hammett said. “Our group intends to be a clearinghouse for strong research that will separate political fancy from reasonable policies that benefit the consumer and the industry. We have brought together some great thinkers who have experience and can provide clear and intelligent judgments on topics ranging from research and development to power plant management to nuclear energy to alternative sources of power to coal plants and gas pipelines.”

“I’m excited to join my esteemed colleagues as a Senior Policy Advisor for the EIA,” said Dr. Corey Tyree, director of energy and environment, analytics and strategic growth at Southern Research Institute. “Our goal will be to provide factual, data-driven information for every sector of the energy industry here in Alabama, while educating the public on the importance of the industry to the state, advocate for energy policies that will enhance the economy of Alabama, and support economic development.”

Other senior policy advisors include: Jim Sullivan, president of The Sullivan Group and former president of the Alabama Public Service Commission; Dr. Steven E. Taylor, director of Auburn University’s Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts; and Oliver D. Kingsley Jr., associate dean for special projects, Auburn University College of Engineering. Sullivan also is a former Andalusian.

EIA’s website – EnergyInstituteAl.org – will provide materials for students, the general public, policy makers, and those involved in the industry. EIA also intends to sponsor events that shine a light on Alabama’s robust energy sector, bringing industry leaders together to share information that can move the state and the industry forward.