HOUSTON, Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized Hart Energy's Executive Vice President Frederick L. Potter for his longstanding dedication to and support of cleaner fuels and global sustainability. Margo Oge, the EPA's Director for its Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Office of Air and Radiation, presented the special award to Potter during Hart's annual "Meeting the Clean Fuels Challenge" conference Dec. 2 in Houston. The day also marked the 40th anniversary of the forming of the EPA.
EPA cited a series of environmental accomplishments in which Potter and his team at Hart had played key analytical and policy advisory roles:
- Global lead phase-out (Potter chaired the United Nations Working Group on clean octane)
- 1990 Clean Air Act amendments and reformulated gasoline/lower benzene regulations
- EU Directive 98-70 which brought cleaner fuel and auto emissions standards to Europe
- Lower global sulfur standards for both gasoline and diesel and improved auto emissions
- Renewable fuels standards -- encouraging dialogue, finding common technical & policy ground
Potter thanked the Agency. He noted "the great privilege that I have had to work with so many people in government since I first came to Washington in 1979 to this day has been extraordinary. It's really the people in industry and in government that have made the difference." Asked what he most appreciated in his professional life over the past 30 years, Potter pointed to work with outstanding industry and government executives – particularly the refining, automotive, renewable and technology sectors.
Upon receipt of the award, Potter said he and his team at Hart have long recognized "hydrocarbons are not the enemy of man – but the great gift to mankind. To fully participate in the global economy, and to protect and improve public health – hydrocarbons need to be ever cleaner from wellhead to retail."
"The future global energy mix is sure to be a wide array of hydrocarbons – made cleaner and supported by broad efficiency standards, renewable sources and new technologies," Potter said. "To provide maximum global economic growth, and to protect and preserve public health – that is the energy mix we will require, and the public policy reality we face. The bottom line is that every molecule counts, and each technology can make a difference."
With regard to his long experience with government, Potter paid special tribute to the accomplishments of EPA Administrators Bill Reilly and Carol Browner, and top executives in the Office of Air and Radiation. He made particular note of William Rosenberg, Mary Nichols, Bob Perciasepe, Jeff Holmstead, Bill Wehrum, Rob Brenner and Gina McCarthy. "Working with EPA professional staff today – particularly Margo Oge and her fine team – remains our great privilege," he said.
"With industry and government committed to working thoughtfully together, the key rules for which current EPA Administrator Liisa Jackson has responsibility -- new cleaner auto standards, cleaner fuels, the new ozone standard – and the roll-out of advanced renewable fuel standards have the potential to rank among EPA's lasting legacy accomplishments," he said. "Our team at Hart is committed to playing a constructive role to put the best and most forward-thinking policy and industry standards in place," Potter emphasized. "After all, the world's growing population and growing global economy is counting on continued excellence from all of us," he remarked.
When asked what was most impressive and memorable in his mind, Potter noted two historical commitments. "The first was when President George H. W. Bush, as a Texas oil man, made the commitment to be the Environmental President – and he delivered on it in spades," said Potter. "President Bush broke a 20-year Congressional deadlock in passing key new acid rain, toxics and clean fuel and auto standard provisions as part of the Clean Air Act of 1990." Potter noted the key roles EPA administrator William K. Reilly and White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray played in shaping that landmark legislation.
Potter also highlighted Carol Browner's central Mission Statement to the entire EPA and the US Congress under former President Bill Clinton. "Carol Browner simply refused to accept that growing our economy and improving our environment were mutually exclusive public policy goals," Potter said. "Instead, she cemented the current public policy belief that growing our economy and improving our environment have gone, can go and should go hand-in-hand. She and her professional team at the White House and at EPA certainly proved that," Potter emphasized.
He said the same is likely to occur under President Barack Obama. "I have extremely high confidence much will be accomplished, when all is said and done," said Potter. "We simply must have consensus and the commitment to work together; then things get relatively easy. It's the commitment by industry and government to be cooperative, forthcoming and thoughtful which counts," he said.
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