Mississippi Ranked Number One for Oil and Gas Investment by Canadian Think TankBy Rhonda Miller | Published 11 Jul 2011 11:01pm |
Mississippi ranks as the world’s most attractive spot for oil and gas investment. Some environmental groups don’t think that’s an advantage, but MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports energy companies are investing millions in the state.
At the Chevron refinery in Pascagoula, spokeswoman Katherine Swetman describes a recent project, "..it’s $500 million dollar project."
Chevron is investing another $1.4 billion in an expansion that will be done in two years. And the new Gulf Liquefied Natural Gas terminal under construction in Jackson County is a $1.1 billion project.
So it may be no surprise that The Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank, ranks Mississippi as at the world’s top spot for oil and gas investment.
Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant says the ranking by the Fraser Institute is a big economic advantage.
"We’ve always been short on capital in this state," Bryant said. "And so now we will have investors throughout the world who look to The Fraser institute for information on where to invest their money. And now they’re being told the best place to invest is going to be Mississippi. So it’s going to help this economy."
But Sierra Club spokesman Steve Shephard doesn’t think being number one is good in this case.
"The fact that Mississippi is very soft on regulation and has no problem with all kinds of pollution, I would have to suspect that’s what gave them the number one ranking," Shephard said.
At Chevron’s Pascagoula refinery, spokesman Alan Sudduth says environmental regulations in Mississippi are as strict as other places.
"If you have a business friendly environment, then I think regulatory agencies, state and local governments and the industries look for ways to find a consensus, find a way to make things work in the environmental area," Sudduth says.
The Canadian study is a sign partnerships are making Mississippi the state for gas and oil investment.
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