As the developing countries like China and India continue to consume more energy at a staggering rate, U.S. energy policy should consider long-term supply needs as a matter of economic competitiveness and national security. Developing countries continue to expand industry and add power production while also transforming their economies to look more like the United States, with passenger cars and computers and televisions in homes. The amount of energy required to support this is almost incomprehensible.

Daniel Yergin of IHS recently gave his perspective on meeting the world’s future energy needs. With a possible increase of 30 to 45 percent by 2030, Yergin points out that, ”the challenges of meeting rising energy needs in the decades ahead, of assuring that the resources are available on a sustainable basis to support a growing world, may seem daunting; and, indeed, when one considers the scale, they truly are.”

Also interesting are Yergin’s thoughts on technology. He observes that, while technology will likely alter the dynamics, technology in energy has required long lead times. Yergin also recognizes the way we use energy, the progress made in energy efficiency, and the necessity of greater efficiency ahead.

Today’s economy is truly a global economy. Meeting the world’s energy demands is an opportunity for resource-rich and manufacturing-friendly Mississippi, but attention to our own needs is also critically important. Investment in a diversity of long-term energy assets is the right policy for Mississippi. Additionally, demand will necessitate activity in technology development and deployment, which yields high quality local development opportunities.

The bottom line: The global energy economy will be ever-growing. Opportunity to attract investment and jobs will persist. Mississippi developers should be focused and aggressive in this sector.