Money for salt domes oil storage before Congress

Published 12:51 am Sunday, March 1, 2009

A $410 billion spending bill making its way through Congress includes funding for land purchases and preliminary work on the government’s proposal for storage of the nation’s oil reserves in the salt domes of Perry County.

The bill, passed Wednesday in the U.S. House and on its way to the Senate, includes $31.5 million for the salt dome project.

In 2006, the U.S. Department of Energy announced plans to transform 16 salt caverns into vast, natural holding tanks that could contain as much as 160 million barrels of oil.

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The estimated cost for the Richton site is more than $2.9 billion.

Public hearings were held in Perry, George and Jackson counties in 2008.