Southern Governors Association conference held in Hoover

HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - The gulf oil crisis and the economy are headlining a gathering of governor's starting Friday afternoon in Hoover.

18 states make up the Southern Governors Association. The annual conference begins Friday afternoon at the Ross Bridge Resort.

Alabama's governor is currently chairman of the SGA and is the reason the event is coming to Hoover. Bob Riley has put a priority on the economy, job growth and expanding trade with China, but the BP oil spill has made this a key moment for southern governors to talk with high profile figures involved in the ongoing cleanup and payout for damages.
BP CEO Robert Dudley, national incident commander Thad Allen and the man behind that $20-billion clean up and compensation fund, Ken Feinberg, will appear at a roundtable discussion Sunday.
The leak from the deepwater well has been sealed, but cleaning up the gulf, the shore line and monitoring oil levels remains a major task. Alabama's attorney general has sued BP for damages in a move that Governor Riley has called premature.

On Saturday, an economic delegation from China meets with the governors. It is a chance for the states to strengthen trade relations and encourage more investment from Chinese companies in the region.
The conference starts Friday night with a private dinner for the governors and their spouses. It wraps up Monday with discussions involving ranking members of the Obama administration.

Copyright 2010 WBRC. All rights reserved.