Mississippi Could Soon See Oil and Gas Rigs on Coastline

As Dauphin Island resident Marion Muir-Flaws looked out from her beach-front balcony, she had one thing to say about the gas rigs in her backyard.

"You can't take a photo of the beach without oil rigs in the photo," Flaws said.

She's only lived here for two years, but knows her property value is not worth as much without a perfect view. She thinks the same will happen in Mississippi, if a bill allowing rigs to be in the built south of the barrier islands passes.

"I think it's a shame because you've got a beautiful coastline here, and I think they've spoiled the coastline," Muir-Flaws said.

But tourists down here say the rigs aren't that much of a problem. They say it didn't stop them from vacationing here.

"We can live with some oil rigs just to get in some nice weather early," Brent Chitty, a Dauphin Island visitor said.

Brent Chitty and his family are vacationing here from Indiana. He doesn't think the rigs ruin the view of the island.

"We spend most of our time right here on the beach, and I haven't seen any bad effects from those on the beach," Chitty said.

While tourists don't mind the rigs, many Dauphin Island residents do. And they say this what South Mississippi's horizon would look like if the rigs are allowed to go up.

Different versions of the bill have passed the Mississippi House and Senate. The next step is for the House and Senate to pass similiar versions of the bill, and then a committee will work out the details.

By: Claire Nelson