Crude oil and natural gas account for four-fifths of all mineral output, by value, in Mississippi. There are many small oil fields scattered across southern Mississippi. Natural gas production is also concentrated in the south. Most of the petroleum is refined elsewhere, but there are several refineries in the state. Other minerals produced include sand and gravel, portland cement, clays, and crushed stone.
In the late 1990s Mississippi was home to a well-diversified manufacturing sector. Food processors generated the most income for the state, particularly those engaged in processing poultry and eggs, making baked goods, preparing seafood, and meat packing. The production of chemicals and synthetics, such as drugs, agricultural fertilizers, and plastics, likewise contributed significantly to the economy. Lumber and wood products, including the processes of milling, crafting hardwoods, and making plywood, was another important industry. Other large industries were the makers of machinery, such as engines and turbines, refrigeration and heating equipment, and farm and garden tools; manufacturers of transportation equipment, including shipyards producing United States Navy, merchant marine, and commercial vessels; and the makers of upholstered, wood, and metal furniture, the industry that employed the most workers in the state. Other major industries in Mississippi are apparel manufacturers and textile mills, paper mills, electrical equipment manufacturers, rubber processors, and firms making primary metal products, such as structural supports used in construction. Many industries have moved to Mississippi from the Northeast because of tax advantages, a large labor supply, weak unions and restrictions on organizing unions, and nearness to raw materials such as cotton.
Thermal plants burning coal, oil, or natural gas for fuel produced 74 percent of the electricity in Mississippi in 2006. The state’s sole nuclear plant in Grand Gulf generated the remaining 23 percent. Electricity is supplied by private utility companies and by rural electric power associations and municipalities. About half of the associations and the municipalities in the north and east parts of the state buy power from the Tennessee Valley Authority. Encarta "Mississippi" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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