Gov. Bryant named chairman of Southern energy group

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Gov. Phil Bryant was elected this week chairman of the Southern States Energy Board. The nonprofit board promotes economic development and quality of life in the South through energy and environmental policies, programs and technologies.

Bryant, who announced the appointment Tuesday on Facebook, is listed as chair-elect on the Southern States Energy Board’s website. This is his second time as board chairman, after first serving in 2013.

Members of the board, created in 1960, include 16 Southern states and two territories: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia.

“Mississippi is an energy state, and it is good to help lead one of the nation’s most influential and effective organizations for energy promotion,” Bryant said in his Facebook post. “America cannot only be energy independent but energy dominant.”

In 2013, Gov. Bryant approved legislation that reduced the state’s tax rate for oil and natural gas companies that use horizontal drilling as part of his Energy Works: Mississippi’s Energy Roadmap plan aimed at strengthening the state’s pro-business environment.

The governor’s office is working on an updated Energy Works plan that could publish later this year.