McDonnell elected chairman of Southern States Energy Board

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The Southern States Energy Board has elected Gov. Bob McDonnell as its chairman.

He follows Gov. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, who was chairman of the group last year.

The Southern States Energy Board includes governors and state legislators from 16 southern states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Its mission is to promote economic development in Southern states through innovations in energy and environmental policies, programs and technologies. McDonnell was elected at the board’s annual meeting Thursday at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

The group is currently involved in the Tennessee-based Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors, whose research can be used in the country’s next generation of nuclear reactors. The board will help promote achievements and opportunities created by the consortium.

“Identifying and enacting positive energy legislation that encourages job-creation and innovation, reduces our dependence on foreign sources and preserves our environment will be a large part of our effort,” McDonnell said in a statement. “By utilizing an ‘all of the above’ approach to our energy needs, one that embraces oil, coal, wind, solar, nuclear, biomass and all our energy resources, we can create good-paying jobs here at home, and move this nation closer to energy independence.”

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