Governor Barbour announces details of special session - - Jackson, MS

Governor Barbour announces details of special session

By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Governor Haley Barbour announced on Thursday at the state Woolfolk building details of the special session he called for Friday.

Lawmakers will vote on an incentive to spur job growth and push Mississippi forward as a renewable energy state.

It's a 500-million-dollar investment from the Houston based corporation, KiOR.  They produce crude oil from biomass sources such as wood composte.  This crude oil will have the capability of being refined into gasoline and distributed for consumer use.

"Crude oil that can then be refined into existing refineries into gasoline and diesel fuel that can be driven into your car," Governor Barbour said.

President and CEO Fred Cannon said KiOR wants to capitalize on Mississippi's fertile land area.

"And now we're ready to take that technology and build our first commercial plant," Cannon said.

Part of this package is a total of five facilities that will be built in Mississippi.  The initial one will be built in Columbus then the other two will be built in Newton and Franklin Counties.

Barbour said it's expected to bring one-thousand jobs either at the facilities or through local suppliers.

"They will spend more than 85-million dollars a year on Mississippi labor and Mississippi wood products," Governor Barbour said.

The Governor said part of the voting process will come from a 50-million-dollar bond incentive. He said $45 million will go to KiOR, $1 million to biomass research at Mississippi State University, and $4 million will go to the workforce training fund.

Barbour said he anticipates the Mississippi legislature to vote "yes" on the package because he says it will make Mississippi a leader in crude oil production through renewable sources.

Cannon said the goal is to reduce foreign dependence on oil and greenhouse gas emissions.

"We're going to make a green fuel, reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  We're gonna make a better, cleaner burning fuel oil for us, and we're going to create a lot of jobs," said Cannon.

Lawmakers will convene at the state capitol at 10 a.m. on Friday to vote on this issue.

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