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Local, State and National Speakers Share Insight into the Future of Energy in the JAX Region and U.S.

Leading business and civic leaders examined regional, state and federal energy issues during an Energy Policy forum today hosted by JAX Chamber in partnership with the Consumer Energy Alliance – Florida.  The program featured two panel discussions, one from a federal perspective and the other from a regional perspective.

The federal panel discussed the future of energy policy at the federal level under the new Congress and administration.  University of North Florida President and JAXUSA Partnership Chair John Delaney moderated the panel.  The panelists included Consumer Energy Alliance Vice President Michael Zehr, a former advisor to U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Florida Petroleum Council Executive Director David Mica, Amy Harder, energy correspondent for the National Journal, Kent Satterlee, director of regulatory policy for Shell, and Christopher Guith, vice president, Institute of 21st Century Energy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy.

“The forum provided a wonderful opportunity to hear from a wide range of energy experts and their recommendations for the best course of action in future energy policy,” said Charlie Hood, Rayonier Vice President of Government Affairs and Chamber Public Policy Chair who moderated the regional panel.  “Energy policy greatly affects our region and our country, and it is essential that it remains at the forefront of issues under discussion by our business and civic leaders.  We need a sound energy policy to help maintain a stable energy supply and to help facilitate economic growth.”

Domestic energy production should be included in plans to reduce federal deficits, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Oil and natural gas production in the U.S would create jobs, boost domestic manufacturing and bring in additional revenue that could be used for deficit reduction.  The Consumer Energy Alliance reports expanded energy production in the United States and Canada can create more than 1.4 million jobs and generate nearly $803 billion in government revenues by 2030.

The event also focused on the energy policies needed at the state level to help foster economic development in the region.  The panelists included First Coast Manufacturing Association President and State Representative Lake Ray, JEA Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Paul McElroy, Dane Grey, president of Elite Parking of America and commissioner for the Florida Transportation Commission for the Disadvantaged, Jacksonville Transportation Association Chief Executive Officer Nat Ford, and Christopher Smith, Director of Strategic Infrastructure Initiatives for CSX Corporation.

“It is important that we chart a course toward an inclusive energy policy that explores conventional and alternative energy to manage Florida’s current and projected energy needs,” Ray said.  “It is also important that we look at eliminating unnecessary regulatory and legal impediments for the economic good of our region.”


About Consumer Energy Alliance

Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that supports the thoughtful utilization of energy resources to help ensure improved domestic and global energy security and stable prices for consumers.  The organization seeks to help improve consumer understanding of the nation’s energy security, including the need to reduce reliance on imported oil and natural gas, maintain reasonable energy prices for consumers, properly balance energy needs with environmental & conservation goals and continue efforts to diversify energy resources.

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