In an interview after the panel, Bost said of the takeaways from the meeting one stood out: Illinois needs to be able to use the coal it takes out of the ground.

“Right now we ship a lot of our coal overseas where it is burned in power plants that have no regulation whatsoever," Bost said. "If it’s pumping it into the same atmosphere, we aren’t gaining ground."

He said there is a massive, underused resource in the ground.

“They believe that we have more energy underneath our area, Southern Illinois, [Interstate] 64 south, than Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Bost also was critical of the regulatory process.

“Government, whether it’s federal or state, has to quit throwing a weighted collar around the neck of those who produce jobs,” Bost said.