COPY-SGA attendees: New energy has benefits, challenges

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Energy experts tell the Southern Governors' Association that new energy sources and technologies will eventually reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, but also may bring fresh environmental challenges and conflicts over land and resources.

Panelists in a round-table discussion at the SGA meeting in Asheville agreed that the region and the country must become more energy-independent, but voiced wide-ranging views on which alternate resources and techniques are likely to deliver safe, reliable sources of fuel.

The introduction of corn-based ethanol, fracking procedures to release natural gas reserves, and the development of the Keystone Pipeline from Canada to Texas were among hot topics.

Among the concerns was the effect that farming incentives to raise corn for ethanol have had on food-corn prices. North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue said higher corn prices have also increased costs for chickens and pigs in her state.

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