Tennessee Said to Withdraw from Wal-Mart Energy Audit Program

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Tennessee Said to Withdraw from Wal-Mart Energy Audit Program

Tennessee has withdrawn from a partnership with Wal-Mart that would have made its state capitol the first to undergo an extensive energy audit by the retailer, state and company officials said yesterday.

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart announced the partnerships with 19 states and Puerto Rico earlier this month. The retailer said it planned to help find ways to cut energy costs at the state capitols.

"The governor's office notified us that they were withdrawing from the program, and that's all we know," Wal-Mart spokesman Dennis Alpert was quoted as saying in an Associated Press report.

The audit was set to take place in mid-June, Alpert added.

Under the program, engineers paid by Wal-Mart would visit the capitol facilities to examine lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems, refrigeration equipment, and building structures.

Will Pinkston, a senior adviser to Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, told the AP the state has run into some unrelated issues that had “complicated things.”

"All things considered, we're just going to move in a different direction right now," he said.

Bredesen, a Democrat, has separately created an energy task force to examine ways to improve Tennessee's energy performance.

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, according to the AP report.