Tennessee Withdraws From Wal-Mart Energy Partnership

Nashville, Tenn. After having been selected as one of 19 states to partner with Wal-Mart Stores in an energy audit program for state capitols, Tennessee announced that it has changed its mind about participating.

The announcement came from the Tennessee governor’s office. According to Wal-Mart spokesman Dennis Alpert, “The governor's office notified us that they were withdrawing from the program, and that's all we know.”

The partnership with Wal-Mart would have made Tennessee’s capitol the first to undergo an extensive energy audit by the nation's largest retailer.

Earlier this month Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced partnerships with 19 states and Puerto Rico to help find ways to cut energy costs at their state capitols.

Alpert said, “We had already started the conversations with the governor's office and staff to make it the first. It was probably going to take place in mid-June."

Under the program announced May 6 at the National Governors Association's State Summit on Clean Power and Efficiency, engineers paid by Wal-Mart will visit the capitol facilities to examine lighting, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning systems, refrigeration equipment and building structures.

“We're supportive of Wal-Mart's broader initiative," Will Pinkston, senior adviser to Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, said in an e-mail. “But we've had a couple of false starts that probably were unique to Tennessee, and we've run into some unrelated issues that frankly complicated things.”

Pinkston did not elaborate on those issues.

The other states that have signed up for Wal-Mart's program include Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia.