Gingrich speaks at energy summit - - The News for South Mississippi

Gingrich: Kemper plant 'Most important single experiment in developing electricity in the world today'

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

State leaders want Mississippi to tap in, drill and take advantage of every natural resource. Governor Phil Bryant says there's no shortage of options.

"Whether it's coal, gas, nuclear, gas, liquid. We are a real player in the energy segment of the United States and we're going to push hard to make sure we stay there," explained the Governor.

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich served as the summit's keynote speaker, explaining there's a positive domino effect in play with energy jobs.

"When you generate a lot more material, prices drop," said Gingrich. "When prices drop, all of a sudden manufacturing is coming back to America."

Gingrich also praised the technology planned for a controversial Mississippi plant.

"The project you have at Kemper is part of the future," said Gingrich. "This may be the most important single experiment in developing electricity in the world today.The reason's simple. We have huge quantities of coal."

And the chance to harness more development is right in our own backyard, according to Mississippi Energy Institute President Patrick Sullivan.

"Mississippi actually has more natural gas flowing in and out of the state than any other state," said Sullivan. "So the goal there would be to capture some of that and add value to it here in Mississippi in the form of manufacturing projects, rather than just being a pass through state."

The state's development authority predicts $500 million in energy investments next year. Gingrich agrees that the climate is ripe for it.

"You are the right size state to break out," said Gingrich. "You are small enough you can actually do things. You are big enough you can actually aggregate resources and talent and people."

One success story that Governor Bryant points to is that almost half a billion barrels of oil have already been produced at the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale, located in south Mississippi.

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