What’s your take on getting America off foreign oil?
It’s simple. We need more American energy. Oil, gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hydroelectric – all of the above.
Is Mississippi doing its part?
Since I’ve been governor, we’ve approved seven major pipeline projects to carry natural gas west to east across the state. Right now we have under construction on the Mississippi Gulf Coast a huge liquefied natural gas terminal. It’s a joint venture by El Paso Corporation, some investors out of Houston, and Angola’s state-owned oil company. It will be up and going by 2012. And Pascagoula is already home to Chevron’s largest refinery in the U.S.
Most people don’t realize what a key role Mississippi plays in U.S. energy markets.
You’ve got to remember that Mississippi has been producing oil since 1939. The Tinsley Field came in on August 31, 1939, and it’s still producing. The interesting thing is that we’ve actually seen production gains in the Tinsley Field over the last two years.
How did that happen?
Through better technology. The field has already been through primary and secondary recovery. Now it’s in tertiary recovery, and a Texas company called Denbury Resources is pumping CO2 out of a huge pocket beneath Jackson, transporting it to the field, and pumping it in there.
Sounds like Mississippi is powering ahead.
That’s just the start.
Mississippi has large deposits of lignite coal, and the Mississippi Power Co. has announced that it will build a coal-fired electrical generation facility that will have carbon capture and sequestration. As I understand it, this coal-fired plant will have the emissions of a power plant powered by natural gas because the captured carbon will be compressed and then injected into older oil wells to boost production.
Rentech has announced that it’s building a coal-to-liquids fuels plant near Natchez. In Greenville we’ve got a biodiesel plant going in. And Entergy has already applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build a second nuclear reactor near St. Francisville.
The rest of the country might want to take a look at your state.
There’s plenty of American energy. For 400 years, America has had a cheap reliable energy economy. When they got off the boat at Jamestown, English settlers found all the timber they could use. Since then we’ve relied on whale oil, coal, oil, gas, and nuclear. Now we’re going to things like wind and solar.
As long as I’m Governor of Mississippi, where going to have an energy policy: more energy.
INTERVIEW CONDUCTED, CONDENSED, AND EDITED BY ERIC O’KEEFE