GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Energy industry leaders, state legislators, and federal officials joined together in Greenville as they said they are aiming to “fuel future growth and prosperity in the south.”

It was the 63rd annual meeting of The Southern States Energy Board.

Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, and former U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette spoke, saying that meeting together in South Carolina is important in improving quality of life and economic development.

“The United States over the course of my lifetime has gone from an importing nation to an exporting nation of energy which is a remarkable achievement,” Brouillette said. “We have now become energy independent.”

Brouillette credited energy independence to innovation and public policy; which he said has thrived, especially in the south.

Governor McMaster said updating the “energy plan” put in place in 2006 is a key factor. He added that as more people move to the south, keeping up with energy production becomes more difficult.

“Transmission is really as big of a problem, probably bigger than power,” McMaster said. “We are a net producer.”

Affordable and reliable power is what McMaster said the goal is for all people.

He said roughly 66% of the power in South Carolina comes from four nuclear power plants.

He also spoke about small modular nuclear reactors, which are more flexible than traditional nuclear plants and are less expensive.

“We don’t want to put all of our eggs in one basket,” McMaster said. “We want to be at the forefront on how to use all of those different sources of energy.”

The three-day conference wraps up on Tuesday.