PORT ST. JOE, Fla. (WMBB) —The St. Joe company and the Miami-based business Nopetro want to build a liquid natural gas plant on the site of the former Port St. Joe Paper Mill.
And residents aren’t happy.
“The community wants to be engaged and be a part of the future of Port St. Joe,” PublicCitizen Director of Energy Program Tyson Slocum said. “The only way that that can happen is if the St. Joe Company sits down and meets with the community. “
The St. Joe Company has had ties in Port St. Joe since the paper mill opened in 1938.
“And talk about what the community wants to see in terms of sustainable development for the former paper mill site,” Slocum said.
Residents said the paper mill left harmful effects on the Gulf County community.
“If you got another plant coming in and might cause some of the same issues, we oppose that,” Port St. Joe resident Chester Davis said. “We’re not opposing progress. We’re not opposing prosperity for the community, but we are opposing anything that will bring danger to that community.”
Liquid natural gas is a natural gas that has been cooled into a liquid state, allowing it to be easily transported.
While liquid natural gas does have many benefits, many Port St. Joe residents said the good does not outweigh the bad.
“[Liquid natural gas] is inherently unstable and dangerous, and it is polluted,” Slocum said.
Slocum points to the recent liquid natural gas-related incidents.
“One year ago this month in Freeport, Texas, Freeport, [liquid natural gas] suffered a catastrophic failure and suffered a huge explosion that resulted in a fireball 300 feet high,” Slocum said. “Earlier this month in Cameron Louisiana, a large LNG tank that was feeding a natural gas power plant suffered a catastrophic failure and forced the evacuation of all residents within a mile of that facility.”
This was the third community meeting where residents opposed the liquid natural gas plant.
Residents said they will keep on holding these events until the St. Joe Company agrees to talk.