Electricity Generation for Southeastern States
Mississippi leaders should clear the way for large, private electrical generation investments to supply cheap, dependable merchant power to fast-growing southeastern states. Mississippi is ideally located with major natural gas pipelines for fuel and major power transmission interconnections to Atlantic coastal states close to the state line. If carbon capture becomes mandatory, the state has salt domes for storage and carbon dioxide pipelines running between the Ross Barnett Reservoir and oil fields to increases oil production. Let’s take advantage of these unique strengths now.
America’s Asian dependency for “stuff” is overdone. Recent world events will accelerate reshoring investments at home, building more factories better suited to middle America with high paying jobs. New factories will be highly automated and digitally interconnected, demanding large amounts of low cost, dependable electric power. They will require more highly trained and educated workers, improved infrastructure, and improved healthcare. How can Mississippi compete for those high skill, high paying jobs?
A Mississippi strategy:
(i) Attract power generation now (fits current work force and infrastructure)
(ii) Cheap power attracts investors (new investments improve MS’s appeal to others)
Mississippi should look eastward for economic ties. Fifty-five percent of the American economy is east of the Mississippi River. A large portion of the economy west of the river is energy, mineral or agriculture based. The southeast is the fastest growing region. Within the southeast, Virginia to Florida and eastern Tennessee have much faster population and economic growth than national averages. Within 150 miles of Mississippi’s eastern border begins a closely linked economy almost as large as the combined economies of California and Texas as shown in Table 1.
With cheap, massive scale generating capacity supporting growth of the huge Southeastern economy, Mississippi would also attract factories. Those businesses would support improved education, infrastructure and healthcare, in turn attracting new investors. A virtuous circle.
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