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Gibson forms energy advisory council

The Republican representing New York's 20th Congressional District announced recently that he's forming a group to advise him on a broad range of energy issues.

Chris Gibson of Kinderhook says the Energy Advisory Council will assist him in identifying the necessary steps to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil.

Gibson also wants to study ways of developing clean forms of domestic energy production and establish the role northern New York can play in that process.

The council will hold its first meeting March 23.

Gibson says providing reliable and affordable sources of energy to businesses and consumers is essential to economic recovery.

"The United States needs a revised energy policy that reduces energy costs, limits our dependence on foreign oil, and protects our environment," he said.

Gibson supports what he calls an "all of the above" energy policy that includes investments in solar, wind, biomass, hydro, and nuclear energy. He adds that his Energy Advisory Council will include representatives from all of those industries.

Since being elected to office last year, Gibson has been staging meetings with experts in the field of energy production and transmission. He's also publicly supporting the development of a nuclear power plant somewhere in upstate New York.

Gibson says the North Country can lead the charge in developing clean energy technology.

According to his spokeswoman, Stephanie Valle, the energy council will focus on three primary areas: energy generation and conservation/efficiency efforts; energy transmission; and fuel transportation needs.

The council will also focus on growing public awareness about energy challenges facing both the 20th district and the nation as a whole, Valle says.

Gibson says his nonpartisan council will also be available to review energy proposals put forth by Congress.

"I look forward to hearing their recommendations and counsel regarding energy legislation being considered before Congress as well as what impediments are currently restricting the development of domestic energy sources," Gibson said.

Valle says the council will consist of a "broad range" of energy stakeholders and will be named before the March 23 meeting.

She adds that Gibson has formed a similar panel to advise him on issues facing farmers.

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