Governor Bev Perdue traveled to Morehead City this afternoon to announce that Potash/PCS Phosphate is voluntarily withdrawing their plans to put a sulfur burning plant in the State Port in Morehead City. This is after almost instantaneous and spirited public opposition to the project once it came to light.
There are already some grumblings about “jobs lost” in the deal (see the first comment in the linked article). Rather than get involved in a flame war on the website of a local newspaper, I’ll just respond here. The sulfur plant was never proposed to create more than maybe slightly over a dozen jobs (plus a few more temporary construction jobs). Compare this to the thousands of Cartaret County residents who depend on tourism for employment, not just in Morehead City, but Atlantic Beach and Beaufort where those fumes could easily have been blown. That’s not the raving of some idealistic hippie, that’s cold, hard economics. This is a region of the state that absolutely depends on tourism, and that tourism depends on having great beaches, a nice waterfront, good fishing, and good boating. All of these would be hurt by having a constant rotten-egg smell hovering over the region, to say nothing about the legitimate and adverse health effects of the plant’s by-products. Not worth it.
Kudos to the Clean County Coalition and all who have contributed to putting a stop to this terrible idea. We can chalk this one up as a win.