Over 1,000 were in attendance to hear Governors Rick Perry and Phil Bryant highlight America’s wealth of energy resources and urge our nation’s leaders to allow states to capitalize on economic opportunities.

John Ratzenberger, Governor Rick Perry and Governor Phil Bryant converse prior to the summit luncheon.

John Ratzenberger, Governor Rick Perry and Governor Phil Bryant converse prior to the summit luncheon.

“Many states are blessed,” explained Perry. “They’re blessed to have these natural resources below the soil. But without the leadership, that’s exactly where those resources are going to stay.”

Earlier in the morning, a 2012 reunion panel of David Holt, Karen Harbert, and Harry Alford discussed opportunities and some new threats to an abundant, affordable energy America.

Following the panel was Dr. Scott W. Tinker, Director of the Bureau of Economic Geology. His lively presentation broke down the growing energy demands of the world and other trends and explained rational solutions to meeting world demands.

On the other side of the energy economy coin, John Ratzenberger of Cheers fame and the Made in America series spoke about the importance of work ethic and how America needs a strong industry for economic recovery.

“We’re a nation of tinkerers,” described Ratzenberger. “That’s what built America, kids that grew up tinkering and then came up with an idea.”

Governor Bryant agrees that building a workforce to handle jobs in the energy and manufacturing sectors is a top priority in Mississippi, and at the Mississippi Energy Institute, we are working on addressing workforce development with a web-based resource to promote technical and engineering careers in energy and manufacturing.

Read more about the summit here.

Notable Quotables from 2014 Energy Summit

  • “Energy is a weapon in the hand of aggressors, so if energy is going to be used as a weapon, America needs to have the largest arsenal… our arsenal will not be used to bully other nations, but to set them free.” – Governor Perry
  • “If America is Popeye, industry is our spinach.” – John Ratzenberger
  • “Energy is the lifeblood of our country, the soul of our economic development.” – Governor Phil Bryant
  • “Energy security – affordable, available, reliable, sustainable – drives the energy mix and should be the goal of energy policy.” – Scott Tinker
  • “Coal is here to stay, oil and gas are here to stay, the new techniques are here to stay, and it’s over my dead body if they want to take it away.”  – Harry Alford
  • “Here are the ‘AEIOU’s and sometimes Y’ of Energy – Access, Exports, Infrastructure, public Opinion, Unfair regulations, Youth – the vowels we need to focus on to capitalize on U.S. energy.”- Karen Harbert
  • “The U.S. is poised to be largest oil producer on earth. We now impact global oil prices more than any other country.” – David Holt
  • “If 111(d) goes forward, we will reduce world emissions by <%1, or just 14 days of emissions produced in China.” – Karen Harbert
  • “If the concern really is emissions, nuclear and natural gas should be looked at. Their net costs are far more enticing than wind and solar.” – Scott Tinker
  • “Why is the conversation about banning? Banning coal? The conversation should be ‘how do we improve it.'” – David Holt
  • “The world is talking about Kemper. Mississippians are leading the way, showing us the future.” – Harry Alford
  • Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – when I heard that song I asked, “Who built the boat?” We need boat builders in the U.S.” – John Ratzenberger