Gov. Phil Bryant stressed the importance of Mississippi's thriving energy sector in Biloxi today at the Gulf Coast Energy Summit.
"Other states envy Mississippi's role as an energy powerhouse," Bryant said. "Mississippi has become a model for other states because of our success in developing both traditional and renewable energy sources.
"Mississippi is on the cutting edge of energy technology. Now it is time to continue moving forward with more energy jobs and more investment in oil, gas and all other forms of competitive energy."
While lieutenant governor, Bryant oversaw the passage of a bill that reduced the tax on companies wanting to use carbon sequestration for energy recovery. Taxes were reduced from 7 percent to 1.5 percent in 2009.
Bryant was also instrumental in the passage of the Carbon Sequestration Act in 2010, which regulates the capture of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide capture is utilized at plants like Mississippi Power's clean coal gasification facility in Kemper County. Captured carbon dioxide can be used to recover underground oil deposits.
Bryant has continued his pro-energy agenda in the Governor's Office, calling for the adoption of the Energy Sustainability and Development Act of 2012. The measure aims to grow Mississippi as a leader in energy jobs, development and research.
Introduced as House Bill 1330, the act requires the development of a statewide energy plan to forecast energy needs and deficiencies. State-owned buildings would also track energy consumption and develop cost-saving strategies to improve energy efficiency.
To encourage energy innovation in the private sector, the act defines federal loan incentives for certain businesses to make energy efficiency upgrades. Money saved as a result of efficiencies can be reinvested into a business's workforce and operations.
The act also creates the Biomass Center for Excellence to encourage and coordinate biomass research, development and industry among state research institutions, the public sector and private sector stakeholders. Increased collaboration will help maximize renewable energy research and promote Mississippi's biomass resources globally.
In June 2011, an independent report issued by the Fraser Institute ranked Mississippi as the world's most attractive spot for oil and gas investment.
Bryant said that innovative legislative initiatives over the last few years have helped Mississippi achieve this national recognition.