Moss Point Residents Weigh Gasification Pros and ConsBy Rhonda Miller | Published 11 Oct 2011 11:01pm |
A gasification plant to produce synthetic natural gas is planned for Moss Point. At a public meeting last night sponsored by the STEPS Coalition, a community advocacy group, MPB’s Rhonda Miller found residents weighing the pros and cons.
"So what is gasification?" The presentation by Jordan Macha of the Sierra Club goes through the details of the gasification project planned by a company named Leucadia. As Gulf states representative for the Sierra Club, Macha works in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. She says Leucadia is building a similar plant in Lousiana, and the Sierra Club has been watching that project, as well as the one in Moss Point.
"Sierra Cub has some definite concerns with the proposed project, primarily because there’s a lot of environmental problems," Macha says. "The water usage is a big problem for us. We also see that there are issues with the dredging of the river."
The Moss Point plant would use a by-product from oil refineries to create synthetic natural gas. The plant is still a few years away, but Moss Point resident Brad Thompson says there’s one outstanding advantage
"Well, I’m here, I’m interested and I’m hopeful the plant will locate here. Certainly this area needs jobs, just like any other area," Thompson says. "I’m a lifelong resident of this community and I’d like to see it grow."
But Moss Point resident Phyllis Matthews wants to make sure any jobs created, also create a healthy community.
"I’m concerned because there was quite a bit of industry here and there is a high incidence of cancer in this area," Matthews says.
Cindi Tarver of The STEPS Coalition says the group is neither for nor against the project at this point.
"We’re trying to educate the Moss Point community, so the community can make the decision as to whether they’re for the plant or against the plant,'" Tarver says.
The STEPS Coalition will hold additional meetings with residents and local officials to gather more information about the gasification project.
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