Newt Gingrich and Tom Rice addressed the crowds at the South Carolina Energy and opportunity Forum, Wednesday, May 1st at the Myrtle Beach convention Center.  

Gingrich spoke to the audience focusing on the importance of the state taking advantage of its natural resources, like oil and gas.

"An increase of energy jobs and an increase of Myrtle Beach infrastructure and the effect on the economy would be dramatic", said Gingrich.

Tom Rice spoke on just how dramatic the impact would be for the state.

"If we can pull it off, it will create up to 4,000 jobs and billions of dollars of economic activity in South Carolina", Rice said.

According to Rice, another big resource the Grand Strand can tap into is wind energy.

"This area is blessed to have a large wind field off of our coast. And wind is certainly a proven renewable energy source", said Rice

But not everyone in attendance agreed that it would be as easy to tap into these resources as the speakers made it seem.

"I'm all for energy, but the wind turbines have vibration problems, fabrication problems, output problems, transmission problems", said Cameron Drew, an expert on energy.

Drew, has worked in fossil plants, nuclear power, and he's built wind turbines.  He says that he is all for the topics the speakers, Gingrich and Rice were promoting, but thinks sometimes it's easier said than done.

"He's a man of ideas, but sometimes ideas are impossible, impractical", said Drew.

Drew said that in the past, government agencies have prevented the utilization of natural resources. He is concerned that the ideas that were brought up in the forum, won't go much further than just being ideas.

Rice said that North Myrtle beach has already implemented wind turbines and are currently looking to add more to the area.