Office of Energy Policy
Jason Bentley Presents Energy Awards at Pennyrile Area Development District Annual Banquet

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, June 15, 2005  
Contact Information:  John Davies
(800) 282-0868

Frankfort, KY, (June 15, 2005) – On June 13, Jason Bentley, Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Energy Policy, presented two awards for outstanding energy achievement at the Pennyrile Area Development District (PADD) Annual Banquet in Hopkinsville. 

The 2005 W.W. “Bill” Bryan Memorial Award, which honors the first Chairman of PADD, is presented annually in recognition of a regional project that significantly impacts the Pennyrile area.  This year’s award went to Commonwealth Agri-Energy of Hopkinsville, an ethanol plant cooperatively owned by 2,300 farmers in a 30 county region.  With an original investment of approximately $30 million, the facility employs 30 people directly, and indirectly supports nearly 400 jobs in Kentucky’s economy.  The facility produces 23 million gallons of fuel grade ethanol with annual sales of $40 million.  The facility purchased 8.2 million bushels of grain from Kentucky farmers at an average of 5 cents over market price, and produces over 75,000 tons of distiller’s dried grain for livestock feed each year.  It was recently featured in the subscribers’ edition of Time Magazine.  “This project demonstrates Kentucky’s potential to develop new energy supplies and embodies the values of Governor Fletcher’s energy policy, namely his commitment to responsibly develop Kentucky’s energy resources while preserving our commitment to environmental quality,” stated Mr. Bentley. 

The second presentation of the night was the Award for Leadership and Innovation in Energy Policy, which went to Mr. Don Bowles of Madisonville.  Mr. Bowles is the president and owner of Charolais Coal Corporation.  His company operates two surface mines and one underground mine and employs over 150 people producing 1 million tons of coal per year.  He is also involved in several other ventures in the area, including the Madisonville Regional Airport, Island Coal River Terminal and other related businesses.  Mr. Bowles has long been involved in the energy industry and promoting coal education and awareness.  He was instrumental in developing a technology for recovering waste coal from spent mine sites.  More recently, he is leading the development of coal-bed methane in Kentucky.  “Mr. Bowles is a pillar in the Kentucky coal industry,” says Bentley.  “He continues to work toward developing energy policies and practices to ensure that Kentucky has affordable, abundant supplies of energy to carry our economy into the 21st Century.”