By NEMS Daily Journal
Gov. Bryant’s energy summit on Thursday in Jackson reminded Mississippians of our state’s impressively diverse and abundant energy resources producing significant output in essential products like crude oil, natural gas and coal, plus huge potential in biomass-driven energy development as that renewable energy resource becomes more reliable and abundant as a finished product.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s website cites recent and ongoing development:
* A new $1.1 billion liquefied natural gas import terminal, opened in October 2011 in Pascagoula, can re-gassify super-cooled natural gas at a rate of up to 1.3 billion cubic feet per day; the natural gas is then sent by pipeline to users throughout the South.
* In 2011, the Pascagoula Chevron oil refinery had the 10th largest refining capacity in the United States; it was able to process 330,000 thousand barrels of crude oil per day.
* The 1,251-megawatt Grand Gulf nuclear power plant near Port Gibson along the Mississippi River generated 18 percent of the state’s electricity during 2010.
* Mississippi’s one ethanol plant can produce 54 million gallons of biofuel annually, enough to equal about 0.5 percent of total U.S. ethanol output.
* Mississippi generated 2.8 percent of its electricity from renewable energy resources during 2010, with wood and wood waste accounting for almost all of the state’s electricity generation from renewable energy.
In addition, our state ranks above the bottom rung among the states with energy resources:
* 17th in coal, with 4 million short tons dug;
* 12th in oil, with 2.04 million barrels pumped (Mississippi once ranked in the top 10 in production);
* 21st in natural gas, with 73.721 million feet extracted; and
* 26th in electricity, with 5,046 million mwh generated.
Mississippi’s existing ability to move energy resources by pipeline, rail and highway is among its most valuable assets, and as new methods extract more of our state’s resources, that infrastructure will create a double return for the economy.
Major port access on the Gulf of Mexico, in combination with the Mississippi River and Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, rail infrastructure, high-capacity pipelines, and other core infrastructure assets round out the hand of resources that may further and markedly expand energy-based development.