Wicker Applauds Energy Dept. Decision on Richton Petroleum Facility

Wicker: 'The people of South Mississippi deserve to have their voices heard.'

January 24, 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today applauded a decision by the U.S. Department of Energy to continue studying the environmental consequences of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) expansion in the Richton salt domes.   

In a letter to Senator Wicker, the Energy Department announced it is preparing a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, saying it is needed to consider the project’s potential environmental consequences. 

“After spending time in Jackson County last week listening to the concerns of local citizens, I was pleased with the Energy Department’s decision to study the Richton petroleum reserve issue further,” Wicker said.  “Their decision sends an important message to concerned citizens in Mississippi’s Gulf Coast that their concerns were heard, and it brings us another step closer to reaching consensus between the Energy Department and those concerned citizens.”

The Energy Department’s letter comes after Senator Wicker joined his colleagues Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) in sending a January 14 letter to the department asking that they hold additional public hearings in South Mississippi regarding the SPR expansion in Richton. 

Senator Wicker added, “The Energy Department’s decision was a good first step and will likely lead to the public hearings my colleagues and I have requested.  The people of South Mississippi deserve to have their voices heard.”