More Studies Should Be Done On Salt Dome Becoming Oil Reserve

As gasoline prices climb near record levels, it sounds like a great idea.

The Department of Energy wants to create a huge oil reserve at the salt dome near Hattiesburg, and then pump 160 million barrels of oil into that dome to help lessen our dependence on foreign oil supplies.

But, how D-O-E wants to turn the dome into a storage unit for oil makes it a bad idea.

The plan is to pump 50 million gallons of water a day from the Pascagoula River to Hattiesburg to dissolve salt in the dome and remove it.

That extremely salty water would then be pumped southward and into the Mississippi Sound near Pascagoula.

We question the environmental impact of the plan. Can the Pascagoula River give up 50 million gallons of water a day without harming the ecosystem?

And can the Mississippi Sound absorb 50 million gallons of super salty water a day with out killing off sensitive species of fish and shrimp.

There are just too many questions to proceed with the plan right now.

A major study needs to be done to make sure our environment will not be damaged.

To move forward now is foolhardy and potentially dangerous. We all want to lessen our dependence on foreign oil, but not at the expense of the things that make south Mississippi a natural wonder.

That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to

David Vincent
WLOX-TV Station Manager