Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Ardmore, has been appointed to represent Oklahoma on the Energy & Environment Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference. Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman made the announcement Monday.

“I am very honored that Senator Bingman would choose me to represent Oklahoma at this very important conference,” Simpson said. “Carter County is the leading energy producer in the state and, as such, has the ability to drive the Oklahoma economy. My goal is to ensure that Oklahoma has a leading role in the development of energy among the southern states.”

The conference will be Sunday through Tuesday in Little Rock, Ark. Issues to be discussed include energy exploration, infrastructure development and grid security.

“New technology and low natural gas prices have made many of the region’s major reserves a primary focus of energy exploration,” Simpson said. “This energy boom holds enormous economic potential and the capacity to generate broad-based economic growth across the southern states. Oklahoma can gain a competitive edge by the development of the natural gas industry.”

The Southern Legislative Conference includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Oklahoma.