Economic Developers Lobby For Power Plant - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/16/07 - Nacogdoches

Economic Developers Lobby For Power Plant

by Donna McCollum 

Never has any investor pumped so much money into a project for Nacogdoches County. Nacogdoches County Judge Joe English likes to be in on the big project. "This will be a $300 million investment. The largest investment."

It's a power plant designed to create electricity from wood chips. Naturally economic developers want to assure this project has a future market. English says, " Everybody is on a mission." English's trip to Austin was his first opportunity to testify in front of hundreds to a subcommittee and to meet privately in a legislator's office that could threaten necessary legislation.  

English is learning from one of the best.  NEDCO director Judy McDonald has years of experience in the state capitol.    They worked together to see a Wayne Christian bill make it through the house. It strengthened the language of a previous bill to assure that power must be generated from the renewable wood source. McDonald described it as, " A cleanup bill. It's just saying not just would, but shall and the PUC was going to rule on it and move on with it. "

Their mission was accomplished in the House. Now it must go to the Senate where a tougher battle is expected. But the two aren't giving up. English knows the project's benefits. " It will also have a rippling affect of over 100 jobs in our county. Loggers that will be chipping these chips up and taking them out to the power plant." McDonald said no matter the outcome, she's confident the project is on go.  " We're very excited about this plan and we are convinced with the help of this bill that this plant will be built and we're ready for it." So ready that groundbreaking is scheduled for this summer.    

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