This month, CEA together with several partner organizations, will host another event for policymakers and Presidential candidates to talk about the important role energy plays in our economy and our daily lives. The Gulf Coast Energy Summit on March 12 in Biloxi, Mississippi, will be open to the public and will feature speakers including Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. Several other elected officials from Gulf Coast states, as well as officials from the Administration, have also been invited.

We’re looking forward to more enlightening discussions about the role of energy in our economy like we heard at the Colorado Energy Summit and the telephone town hall for Alaskans that CEA hosted earlier this year. With the pain at the pump we’ve all experienced in recent months, consumers everywhere are sensitive to our wallets, and those running for office are being forced to address topics like high gas prices, jobs, national infrastructure, the economy and the ways that sensible, long-term, balanced energy policies can provide immediate relief.

The fact that all this conversation is occurring not just in a Presidential election year, but during a pretty wide-open election, must be viewed as an opportunity. We’ve long implored our policymakers to address gasoline prices, foreign oil dependence and other energy issues, in earnest. Now that these critical issues have become key topics in campaign speeches, it’s our duty to get involved, ask the tough questions and hold our elected officials accountable. If you’re in or near Mississippi on Monday, March 12th, we hope you’ll consider attending the Gulf Coast Energy Summit. And if not, watch for television coverage and check back here next week for some highlights of the event.