Haley Barbour on how Mississippi doesn’t play favorites when it comes to sources of energy

In the debate over energy policy, the efforts in Washington get most of the attention. But states have just as much of a role to play.

For insight into how states deal with these complex questions, The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley A. Strassel spoke with Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. Here are edited excerpts of the discussion.

Staying Domestic
MS. STRASSEL: Republicans have attempted to craft an energy policy in Washington for years. Tell me what your own energy philosophy is, for yourself, and for the state of Mississippi.

GOV. BARBOUR: Our energy policy is: more American energy. I think in 10 or 15 years, when companies come to Mississippi to consider our state, what they are going to ask about energy is not, “What does it cost?” They’re going to ask, “How do we get it?” And we want to be seen as a reliable-energy state.

That’s why we’re an oil- and gas-producing state; have been for many years. Twenty percent of the electricity of my state is provided by nuclear power. We make solar panels in my state. We have a very, very diverse portfolio of energy in our manufacturing sector, and that’s what we want. We want more American energy, and then, of course, we’re involved in conservation and efficiency, too.

Wall Street Journal
3/7/11