The energy board is comprised of governors and lawmakers from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The meeting's agenda largely reflected the sentiments of its host, Bevin, a businessman-turned-politician who is up for reelection as Kentucky's governor in November. He has a confrontational style like President Donald Trump, who has campaigned for him.
"What we grew up with as weather is now climate change, and a cause for alarm," the Kentucky governor said Tuesday.
...Only one other southern governor attended, Oklahoma's Kevin Stitt, another businessman-turned-politician.
"Weather changes, yes," Stitt said. "It doesn't mean it's an existential threat. What does that even mean?"
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon came as a guest. His state tops the nation in coal production, and he called for policies to "reinvigorate old coal plants to be part of the climate solution," without elaborating.
Kentucky lawmaker Jim Gooch, a Republican, talked about cracking down on pipeline protesters. He defended a bill he filed that would make acts of civil disobedience against pipeline operations in Kentucky a felony. It would be like a wave of similar laws passed by other states that critics say block free speech.
"So much of the people who are protesting are so emotional," Gooch said. "It can get violent. We can't have that."