Taylor Town Hall Meeting Fuels Talk On Salt Dome, Insurance

Like many of Congressman Gene Taylor's constituents at this town hall meeting, Gulfport resident Kay Mihelich still has reservations about the Richton Salt Dome Project.

"The ultimate impact it would have economically, environmentally, its impact on the tourist industry possibly, and the effect on the water system in the Pascagoula area," Mihelich said.

Taylor says he understands those concerns, but he warns that without petroleum reserves like the proposed Richton project, residents could experience some post-Katrina deja vu if disaster strikes.

"If we run out of fuel in this country, then that's what life your will be like. And any foe would want that to happen," Rep. Gene Taylor said.

For other residents, insurance is still on their radar. Taylor's all-peril insurance bill passed the U.S. House last year. He says it will be a bigger challenge to push through the Senate, but South Mississippians can help.

"Beg, plead with Senator Wicker, Senator Cochran. It's not just enough to vote for it. They've got to be on fire, they've got to grab the torch and say we're gonna make this pass the Senate in the way I made it pass the House," Rep. Taylor said.

And whether it's a town hall meeting or a call to D.C., people like Mihelich say they feel motivated to continue speaking out, if it means a brighter future for South Mississippi.

Congressman Taylor says he received a verbal promise Monday from the Department of Energy that South Mississippi will have public hearings concerning the Richton salt dome project in March or April.

By Keli Rabon