Nuclear and coal-fired power along with the Narrabri gas project could all be options to power the future of manufacturing in Tamworth.
That's according to New England MP Barnaby Joyce.
"I think gas has a huge future in Tamworth, especially in the industrial section in Taminda," he told the Leader.
"You've got to have a cheap baseload power source to keep your blue-collar jobs, which Tamworth has a high proportion of. So we've got to make sure we keep those men and women in a job.
"We do that by an affordable food source power supply which I hope is gas."
His remarks come after federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor on Monday called for the $3.6 billion Narrabri gas project to be approved "as soon as reasonably possible".
Mr Taylor said the project was the "best answer" to driving down NSW energy prices.
Mr Joyce said cheap power would be crucial to keep Tamworth's Taminda manufacturing suburb trucking, but said the region should also consider other options to achieve that.
"I don't think we're going to fire the whole grid up on gas," he said.
"If you just say let's be a realist about this, we have to build a high-efficiency, low-emission coal-fire power station, we've got to sell that technology to the world, we've got to get a huge volume of power onto the grid, get a cheap price and then we can build up Taminda and say let's go," he said.
Even nuclear power is a real option to achieve that, he said.
"People have always asked me in the past would I have a nuclear power plant here and I've always said yeah absolutely," he said.
He said no energy source will keep everyone happy, and coal, wind, solar, hydro and nuclear power plants all generate as much controversy as energy.
The massive Narrabri Gas project has produced plenty of its own controversy, with its DA receiving tens of thousands of submissions both for and against the 850 coal seam well development.
In March, NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes formally requested to the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) to hold a public meeting in Narrabri, in anticipation of his department wrapping up its assessment.
The NSW Planning Department received almost 23,000 submissions about the project, including at least 18,000 objections.
It's the largest number of submissions has ever received by the department for a development application.
The New England has been a designated a renewable energy zone by the state government and the region has received billions in investment by both solar and wind projects.