Tennessee role in going 'Green' front & center - WSMV Channel 4

Tennessee role in going 'Green' front & center

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FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) -

Clean energy and Tennessee's role in the research was front and center at a conference here on Monday.

Advocates said alternative energy would benefit the environment and national security.

But it's a tough sell for some who wonder if Tennessee really has what it takes to lead the way nationally.

This morning the Pew Charitables Trusts hosted this forum on clean energy at Nissan, where the company touted its success with products like the Nissan Leaf.

"There's a growing environmental consciousness in this country and there's a national security concern around our dependence on oil that is mostly sourced from foreign countries," said Nissan America's Scott Becker.

"You know the cost of driving with an electric vehicle is so much less than the cost of filling up your tank, and that's the whole point at a time when gas prices are near $4 a gallon," said former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

As good as it sounds, electric vehicles are a tough sell. For some they're too expensive. For others they're unproven.

"I just haven't thought too much about that," said Natasha Hunt. "The fact of plugging it up every night. That's electricity, so it kind of evens out."

Those leading the way seem optimistic Tennessee will lead the way into the future.

The Pew Center is working with state and local leaders on tax breaks that would help make these high-tech cars more affordable.

Prices for the Nissan Leaf start at $32,000. In Tennessee, you can get about $10,000 off the price through tax breaks.

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