The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, the nation's oldest oil and gas commission, has elected Gov. Phil Bryant to serve as its 2014 chairman. Bryant succeeds Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who served as the 2013 chairman.
The commission, representing the governors of 30 member and eight associate states, promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of the nation's oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment.
"Mississippi is a leader in energy innovation, and people around the world are taking note of our competitive advantages," Gov. Bryant said. "Enacting positive energy legislation that encourages job creation and innovation, reduces our dependence on foreign sources and preserves our environment is crucial to growing our nation's energy value chain. While Mississippi can lead in its own right, more must be done at the national level to encourage energy production, and I look forward to working with members of the IOGCC to expand those opportunities."
"Governor Bryant knows first-hand the need for reliable sources of energy and the need for proper regulations and precautions," Governor Robert Bentley said. "We know that with proper procedures in place, we can and should develop our resources for the benefit of our citizens. I have no doubt that Governor Bryant will build upon the IOGCC's progress, and I look forward to working with him."
Gov. Bryant is the second governor from Mississippi to serve as the IOGCC chairman. Gov. Paul B Johnson served as chairman in 1967.
As the incoming chairman, Gov. Bryant will work with members on oil and gas issues and advocates states' rights to govern the petroleum resources within their borders.
"We are excited for this upcoming year with Gov. Bryant as our chairman," IOGCC Executive Director Carl Michael Smith said. "He brings strong leadership and determination that will support the IOGCC and its members."
Member states include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.