Politics Play Part in Gulf Power's Economic Symposium

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Sandestin- "Our Competitive Edge" is the theme of Gulf Power's 16th Annual Economic Symposium. During the first day Monday, economic experts from across Florida analyzed the current economy and forecasted what the future might hold.

Tom Fanning, C.E.O. of Gulf Power's parent company, The Southern Company, focused on our nation's energy use, and he used the opportunity to criticize the current federal government's energy policies.

"Why would you create tax policy to incent somebody to take more risk in this kind of environment? As we export the coal, we might as well consider we're exporting jobs and economic growth. Bad government policy is moving coal out of the United States," said Fanning.

Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Adam Putnam spent time during his speech talking about the current oyster crisis in Apalachicola, and he too criticized President Obama, going as far as accusing the federal government of trying to kill Florida's seafood industry.

"If the federal government does not guarantee the state of Florida adequate flows of water that we are entitled to, it will continue to devastate jobs, families communities," said Putnam.

Even the Panhandle's foremost economic expert, University of West Florida Professor Dr. Rick Harper, warned the federal government's actions will also have a local impact.

"We need to slow down the growth rate of federal government spending," said Harper.

Gulf Power's Economic Symposium wraps up Tuesday morning.

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