The Southern States Energy Board today selected Gov. Phil Bryant as its chairman, drawing on Mississippi's position as an energy leader in the region. Bryant will serve a one-year term following outgoing chair Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.
The Southern States Energy Board is a bipartisan, interstate compact that includes governors and state legislators from the 16 Southern states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as three non-voting board members. The group promotes energy-based economic development, innovation, programs and policies.
"Mississippi is a leader in the energy sector because of our diversity of resources and our proactive approach to providing infrastructure for this industry, and I believe that we have only just scratched the surface of energy growth in our state," Bryant said.
"The Southern States Energy Board helps promote pro-energy legislation, encourages job creation and innovation and works to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources while preserving our environment.
"For our nation to become more energy independent, we must recognize the importance of a forward-thinking approach to energy and continue to develop a comprehensive energy policy that works.
"It is an honor to serve as chairman of this organization, and I look forward to working with board members to advance energy leadership in the South."
Southern States Energy Board Executive Director Ken Nemeth said Bryant's leadership in directing Mississippi's energy resources makes him uniquely suited to serve as chairman of the organization.
"Mississippi is the crossroads of the nation with respect to energy policy and technologies," Nemeth said. "Oil and natural gas production, nuclear power, biomass, lignite coal, carbon capture and sequestration, renewables and pipelines make up a diverse energy portfolio in the state.
"The Southern States Energy Board has just elected Gov. Phil Bryant as its chairman because he is a new, dynamic southern leader who understands how to marshal a profusion of energy resources while protecting our environmental assets and reserves. Gov. Bryant's energy plan is a vibrant example of how states should manage their resources efficiently and with public confidence. His chairmanship of the Southern States Energy Board will give other states the opportunity to benefit from his leadership!"
Bryant's election as chairman comes just ahead of his Governor's Energy Summit planned for Oct. 4 in Jackson. The one-day summit will bring together industry experts to explore Mississippi's energy future and features a keynote address by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
For more information about the Southern States Energy Board, visit http://www.sseb.org.
For more information the Governor's Energy Summit, visit http://mississippi.cvent.com/EnergySummit2012.