Gingrich, Santorum will take part in energy summit in Biloxi

The day before Mississippi’s primary election, Gov. Phil Bryant and GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum will participate in a summit in Biloxi sponsored in part by a group pushing for offshore drilling in state water.

The 2012 Gulf Coast Energy Summit will be March 12 at the Coast Coliseum. Organizers are hopeful other invitees, including presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, along with governors of Alabama, Louisiana and Texas, and a host of other state and federal officials will attend. It’s open to the public.

The summit is sponsored by the Mississippi Energy Policy Institute and the national Consumer Energy Alliance. MEPI was created in 2009, a spinoff of then-Gov. Haley Barbour’s Momentum Mississippi planning initiative. It’s recently led the public relations charge to promote offshore drilling in state waters, a controversial issue in South Mississippi.