CHARLESTON, S.C (WCBD) – The Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) 62nd annual meeting is taking place at the Charleston Marriott, and Sunday, several members of the organization talked about what the conference will entail over the next three days.
Southern United States leaders are convening in the Holy City to discuss the future of the energy industry.
“The Southern States Energy Board is an interstate compact of 16 states and two territories,” SSEB’s executive director Kenneth Nemeth said. “So, we’ll have people from the governorships. We’ll have legislative leaders. We have a federal representative who is appointed by the president who will be here.”
Many of the conference’s presentations will center around recent legislation signed into law by President Biden.
“We’ll be looking at clean energy and its impact in the South on growth and prosperity,” Nemeth said.
SSEB members say the Inflation Reduction Act could potentially have a major impact on the Southern U.S. energy sector.
“We’re going to have about $369 billion focused on energy,” SSEB federal representative Jim Powell said. “The energy infrastructure, the energy industry and climate change. A lot of that money, we’re hoping, is going to come to the Southeast.”
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster serves as chairman for the organization and will deliver a keynote address on clean energy Monday morning.
“We’re so pleased to have his expertise and his involvement in the process,” Nemeth said.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant will also join McMaster for Tuesday’s Governors’ Energy Caucus.
“They’ll talk about energy,” Nemeth said. “They’ll talk about renewable energy and fossil energy, and the juxtaposition between how energy can affect people’s lives.”
And because it affects so many lives, leaders say now is a crucial time to talk about the future of energy in the South.
“Energy drives the economy,” Powell said, “and it shows I think that so many political leaders and industry leaders from the Southeast come together and work toward a common objective.”
Governor McMaster’s keynote address will be Monday, at 10:00 a.m.