Gov. Haley Barbour has issued the call for Friday’s special session, so let’s get right to it:
Among other things, Barbour will ask lawmakers to issue $45 million in general obligation bonds to a company that will produce renewable crude oil using biomass harvested here in Mississippi.
Biomass is a natural material used to produce energy. It can range from wood chips to grass to animal waste.
Barbour does not name the company or any of its locations — he said last week it would have multiple facilities — in the call, so we’ll just have to wait until Friday to learn those particulars.
To go with the $45 million that will defray some of the construction costs and equipment purchases, lawmakers will be asked to issue an additional $4 million in GOBs that will pay for workforce training related to the project, a program that will be administered by the Mississippi Development Authority. The actual training will be done by Mississippi’s colleges and universities and community colleges.
We’re still not done. Barbour also wants an additional $1 million in GOBs to fund research on biomass usage in the production of renewable crude oil at the Sustainable Energy Research Center at Mississippi State.
All told, that represents a $50 million investment by the state in the $500 million project that is expected to create 1,000 jobs.
Also included in the call is an authorization that will allow the City of D’Iberville to acquire property for development, and an authorization allowing DeSoto County to build a new jail.
It all gets started Friday at 10 a.m.