BP PLC is paying $69 million for interactive exhibits at a Hancock County science center, a concrete pathway on the beach at Pascagoula, up to six miles of shoreline and improvements at a park as part of Mississippi Gulf Coast restoration from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gov. Phil Bryant said.
The money is part of $1 billion the oil giant agreed two years ago to pay for early restoration work after the 2010 disaster. The money is going to Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Texas and the federal government. Each state is to get at least $100 million.
Mississippi has now received a total of $82.6 million, Bryant said today.
He said the money will go to four projects across the Mississippi Coast.
“These four projects, which extend across the entirety of our Gulf Coast counties, are an important step in that journey. Each addresses a critical part of restoration of the natural resource and recreational losses caused by the spill. In whole, they will help to restore and enhance a wide array of habitat, from oyster and fish to marshes and the public’s opportunities to enjoy and better understand the intricate Gulf Coast environment,” Bryant said in a statement.
Mississippi’s project were proposed as a result a public comment process on the Gulf Coast and were negotiated with BP and Mississippi’s federal and state partners. The projects will go through another phase of public review and comment before work begins.
Gov. Phil Bryant has selected Jamie Miller as his choice to head the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.
Bryant made the announcement at a 10 a.m. news conference at the DMR headquarters in Biloxi.
The governor said Miller, who has a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology from the University of Southern Mississippi, fully understands how important the Coast’s resources are to teh state’s well being. He also touted Miller’s government and private sector experience.
“With this Gulf Coast, these coastal resources that God has given us, it is so important to have a man like Jamie Miller, who has taken the opportunity and the challenge to become the next director of DMR.”
Miller, 40, of Gulfport, had been U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo’s chief of staff until he left that job in December after a little more than a year. He left to return home to the Coast.
He had also served eight months as deputy chief of staff for the congressman, who was elected in 2010. Miller had also worked as a coastal ecologist with DMR from 1997 to 1999, as well as Pascagoula’s deputy city manager and as policy adviser under Gov. Haley Barbour.
Filed under Congress, Economic Development, Governor, Gulf Coast, Legislature, Mississippi, Mississippi State Senate, Phil Bryant, Politics, Public Service, Republican, State Government, Steven Palazzo, Tourism
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Mississippi State Senator Michael Watson has just introduced Senate Bill 2137, “An act to require retail dealers and distributors of gasoline to offer for sale or use nonethanol-blended unleaded premium grade gasoline.”
When asked for his motivation, the Senator from Pascagula, on Mississippi’s Gulf coast, replied: “Being from the coast, I continue to hear about my constituents having to spend money repairing their boats, lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc. I’d heard several folks talking about the consequences of ethanol and decided to do a little digging, which ultimately lead to my drafting of this bill.”
via Mississippi Senator seeks to require ethanol-free gasoline | General Aviation News.
Mississippi Sierra Club head Louie Miller ambasted the move, saying the outgoing governor is doing a favor for the oil industry.
“Haley Barbour is blowing a kiss to BP on his way out the door,” Miller said. “Less than three weeks left in office and he wants to pull a fast one.”
Miller said drilling would spoil the Gulf Islands National Seashore, including two slands designated as wilderness areas. He also said that any economic gains to the state would be outweighed by tourists driven away by drilling.
Turner said Barbour directed the development authority earlier this year to move forward with issuing the leasing rules saying the governor wanted to conclude the effort before he left office. MDA Director Leland Speed met Monday with officials in the three coastal counties as “a courtesy,” Turner said. He said the authority plans to hold a public hearing on the coast in January or February, and is likely to issue the rules sometime after.
Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. used a Gulf Coast forum to press the issue of higher salaries for judges.
The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/v3YgXA) that Waller and Justices Randy Pierce and Michael Randolph told members of the Gulf Coast Business Council that a judicial pay bill will be presented to the 2012 Legislature.
Randolph says the last time Supreme Court justices got a pay raise gasoline was $1.89 a gallon. That was 2003.
The Sun Herald reports that Waller and Justices Randy Pierce and Michael Randolph told members of the Gulf Coast Business Council that a judicial pay bill will be presented to the 2012 Legislature.
Waller says the pay package will propose a four-year, step pay increase for appellate judges and those in the circuit, chancery and county courts. It also will feature higher civil filing and appellate court fees to fund the increases.
via Mississippi chief justice: State’s judges to seek higher salaries in 2012 | The Republic.
In a meeting with the Sun Herald on Wednesday, Bryant said as governor he would be focused on creating jobs and keeping existing jobs.
He outlined his jobs program, which includes keeping corporate taxes low and creating a “Governor’s Regulatory Commission.” He said this 12-member civilian panel would review current regulatory practices to ensure fairness and make the state more business friendly.
Bryant said he would push to phase out the inventory tax and reduce the sales tax on construction equipment.
He said the state must expand its energy exploration and production, and look to new technologies such as biofuels, clean coal and nuclear and solar engergy “to ensure Mississippi maintains its roles as a world leader in energy production.”
Bryant said he would continue to promote tourism on the Coast and statewide.
“There are 81,000 direct and indirect jobs in Mississippi in tourism and travel,” he said. “That’s 81 Toyota plants.”
Bryant said he would also work to bring more manufacturers to the state. He said he would love for the state slogan to change from “the Hospitality State” to “We Make Things.”
Bryant refuses to take campaign donations from casinos, and said he opposes them expanding to jurisdictions beyond where they are now. But he said he fought any efforts in the Legislature to raise their taxes and he doesn’t oppose the industry.
via Bryant focuses on job creation – Elections – SunHerald.com.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is helping a fellow Republican in his neighboring state drum up cash for the Mississippi governor’s race. Jindal traveled Tuesday to Biloxi, Miss., to attend a fundraiser for GOP Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant.
Jindal’s spokesman announced the trip Tuesday.
Bryant is running against Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree, a Democrat, in the Nov. 8 general election. The winner will succeed Republican Gov. Haley Barbour in January. Barbour could not seek a third term.
Jindal is up for re-election on Oct. 22, but he’s attracted no well-funded opponents.
via Gov. Bobby Jindal helps candidate for governor in Mississippi | NOLA.com.
Filed under Biloxi, Bobby Jindal, Democrats, Elections, Endorsement, Gulf Coast, Johnny Dupree, Mississippi, Phil Bryant, Politics, Republican
Rep. Brandon Jones, D-Pascagoula, has received the endorsement of the Mississippi Police Benevolent Association for re-election.
In a letter to Jones, Chris Skinner, the Mississippi division president for the association, said, “We will ask our members, their friends and families, and all citizens who respect the strong and efficient enforcement of our laws to cast their ballots in the upcoming election in your favor.”
“I am honored to have the support of the brave men and women who protect Mississippi families,” Jones said. “I will continue to make sure our law enforcement officers have the tools they need to keep our streets safe.”
The MPBA represents sworn law enforcement officers and support personnel by providing legal services and advocating changes to improve the quality of work life for people employed in all aspects of criminal justice.
Jones faces Republican candidate Charles Busby in the November general election.
via Brandon Jones gets police badge of approval; Phil Bryant shindig planned (Political Skinny) | gulflive.com.