Gov. Phil Bryant opened the Southern States Energy Board annual meeting with a story about the importance of energy.
“I remember the first time we got that air conditioning unit — that window unit,” he said. “That’s a pretty special moment. We put it in one room and all of us gathered around it. And if anybody ever come over to the house, we’d say, ‘Come look at the unit.’ And they’d sit there in amazement.”
Bryant pointed out other ways energy has changed life in the South for the better but said those improvements don’t have to come at the expense of the environment.
He said he hoped those who attended the meeting sponsored by a host of energy companies but no environmental groups had enjoyed the view from the Sound side of the Beau Rivage where it was held. And he recalled coming here as a youngster.
“We just thought this was the most magical place on Earth,” Bryant said. “In those days … my dad had a … 62 Dodge station wagon and he’d drive us to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
“We love that water out there. We love those beaches. Clean energy is part of our soul and our lifestyle.”
Others who followed Bryant in the morning session insisted that you could be an environmentalist and support energy production.