Troy energy forum draws large crowd

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Energy Awareness Town Hall meeting Tuesday night at Troy University was the biggest town hall meeting of its kind so far.

Lance Brown, Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) executive director, said around 100 people attended the town hall meeting to hear the views of keynote speaker U.S. Rep. Martha Roby and a panel of energy specialists.

Roby spoke about the need for the United States to use its domestic energy sources and didn’t single out any one energy source as a “best buy” for the future.

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“Rep. Roby stressed an ‘all of the above’ approach and using everything at our disposal,” Brown said.

Roby’s Congressional record shows that she voted “yes” on opening the Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling, which makes available for leasing, in the 2012-2017 five-year oil and gas leasing program, Outer Continental Shelf areas that are estimated to contain more than 2.5 billion barrels of oil.

Roby also voted yes on barring the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases and signed the No Climate Tax Pledge to oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.

The Energy Awareness Town Meeting included the showing of the 20-minute video documentary, “Unplugged: Reconnecting American Energy Policy with Reality,” which attempts to document the growing divide between the realities of American energy and the mainstream coverage of energy issues.

The documentary tries to answer the questions as to how America should be powered and what it will cost the people.

Brown said the documentary should be of interest to all energy consumers and may be viewed online at

Following the documentary, there was a question and answer period led by panelists, Gary Palmer, Alabama Policy Institute; Gary Smith, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative; Dr. James Rinehart, Troy University; and Floyd Gilliland, Jr. attorney.

“It was a lively and spirited question and answer period and several questions were director to Gary Smith about EPA regulations and their effect on consumer power rates,” Brown said. “We got around to the fact that the United State is number one in the world in domestic energy sources and the belief was that we should tap into those.”