Drilling Appeal Ends; Decision Up To MDA Chief

JACKSON (AP) — Opponents of offshore drilling say Mississippi officials didn't do enough to consult with others or properly consider all possible economic impacts.

The superintendent of the Gulf Islands National Seashore and an opponent who wrote an economic study questioning the benefits of drilling were among the witnesses Thursday as a hearing concluded on the state's plan to lease parts of Mississippi Sound for natural gas drilling.

The appeal of seismic testing and leasing rules will be decided by Brent Christensen, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority. If opponents dislike the decision of Christensen, who runs the agency that wrote the rules, they can appeal to Hinds County Chancery Court.

Royce Cole, a lawyer for the state, says the state acted properly and opponents haven't proven that MDA did anything wrong.


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