Senator attends energy conference

District 34 State Sen. Francis Thompson recently joined other members of the Louisiana delegation in Oklahoma City for the annual meeting of the Energy Council, a non-profit corporation that assists in the creation of federal and state public policy on energy.

Sen. Thompson is an at-large member of the council.

Among other things, the annual meeting focused on new technologies and developments relating to biofuel production, a top of particular interest to Sen. Thompson who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture. Annual meeting participants heard from experts regarding the production of liquid biofuels, the use of crop residues for biofuel production and the growing interest in the use of non-food crops for biofuels.

“There is a tremendous amount of innovative research and development taking place across the country regarding the production of alternative energy sources, especially those relating to the agriculture industry,” he said. “There is tremendous potential for the industry in Louisiana as well as across the country. In fact, a major demonstration plant using non-food crops for biofuels is already underway in south Louisiana.”

In addition to the biofuels discussions, participants at The Energy Council annual meeting also heard from energy policy officials regarding the protection of energy infrastructure across the nation, nuclear power alternatives and the use of emission tax credits in energy development.

The Energy Council is a legislative organization of energy-producing states, four Canadian provinces and the nation of Venezuela. Besides, Louisiana, officials from Alaska, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama participate in the council. Together these states account for well over 80 percent of the oil and gas production in the U.S. The purpose of the council is to participate in the development of federal energy and related-environmental policy, assist member states and provinces in developing such policy, and promote dialogue on energy issues at all levels.

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