“Mississippi Got Screwed Way Bigger Than It Did With The Beef Plant.”
Editors Note: The following excerpt is from a Clarion Ledger article by Jerry Mitchell on the dangers attracted by Mississippi’s long-running love of financing economic Development.
Then-Gov. Haley Barbour bragged in 2010 that the biofuel company KiOR would invest $500 million and create 1,000 jobs in Mississippi.
He gushed about the project for which lawmakers loaned $75 million, saying, “We may look back and say it did more to change and do good for the people of Mississippi than any other.”
The company has since declared bankruptcy, and internal documents obtained by The Clarion-Ledger show executives hoodwinked Barbour and other Mississippi officials about its ability to produce large amounts of a cheap bio-crude that oil companies could refine.
As a result, taxpayers are being forced to shell out $69 million — even more than the $55 million they paid for the beef plant fiasco, which ended in the criminal convictions of private developers.
“Mississippi got screwed way bigger than it did with the (failed Yalobusha County) beef plant,” said Joe Max Higgins Jr., CEO of Golden Triangle Development Link in Columbus.