Adams Co. may take off with Rentech

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 17, 2009

Adams County’s economy could soon be cleared for takeoff. We can almost see the beginning of the runway now.

Rentech Inc. announced some great news this week for their Natchez project.

The company announced a non-binding memorandum of understanding with more than a dozen domestic and international passenger and cargo carriers.

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The news indicates interest on the part of the airlines to potentially purchase fuel from the Natchez facility — once operational.

The company’s $4.5 billion synthetic fuels facility planned for the former International Paper mill site could change not only our local economy, but could be a huge shot in the arm for the State of Mississippi’s economy as well as the nation’s.

The project would create a bunch of new jobs in our area. A recent Alcorn State University study of Rentech’s plans indicates the plant could create more than 2,100 direct jobs in the construction phase and more than 400 once operational.

And that’s not counting the spin-off benefits — all of those workers would be eating, sleeping and living in our area that would also generate great economic benefit.

But beyond the local benefits, moving to alternative energy sources can help bolster our nation’s security, by helping us break free from being directly beholden to foreign countries for a significant quantity of the energy we consume.

That should be a huge national priority. And we hope Washington is moving in that direction.

If Rentech can turn their plans into action, Adams County could become the capital of alternative fuels production in the country.

And our takeoff could quickly propel our economy into the altitudes we haven’t seen in decades — if ever.