Hurley secretary of energy caucus task force

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State Rep. Julia Hurley, R-Lenoir City, has been appointed secretary of a newly formed Republican Caucus Energy Task Force in the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Hurley, who represents Roane County in the state General Assembly, is among seven House members appointed to the task force by House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga.

The task force, according to McCormick, will “explore the various ways that the energy industry can provide a positive impact on job growth and economic development in our state.”

It will seek input from various outside groups, including the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

The group will report back to the full Republican Caucus on the results of their study.

State Rep. Tony Shipley, R-Kingsport, is chairman of the task force. McCormick said he appointed Shipley to the leadership role  because of his long track record dealing with energy development issues.

Other members of the Republican task force are John Forgety of Athens, Kelly Keisling of Byrdstown, Dennis Powers of Jacksboro, John Ragan of Oak Ridge and Mike Sparks of Smyrna.

“Roane County and Loudon County are at the center of commerce in
East Tennessee,” Hurley said.

“Anything we can do to study and enhance the energy capabilities of our state will not only benefit my district, but our entire region,” she added.

The seven members of the Republican Caucus Energy Task Force represent a wide array of economic interests and energy development opportunities throughout the state that include refineries, coal sites, industrial parks, and access to major interstates for shipping.

“While we may not be able to solve some of the long-term issues our country is facing, I do think we can put our heads together to develop innovative ways for Tennessee to lead in the energy sector while, at the same time, providing a much-needed source for job development for our citizens,” McCormick said.