MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A small group gathered at the Center for Living Arts auditorium Saturday, to learn about what environmentalists consider a big potential threat to the community.
Casi Calloway said people on the Gulf Coast should be concerned about petroleum projects in the area that includes the oil pipeline and tar sands, which is petroleum mixed with sand.
"While this is a confusing issue, the facts are very clear and getting the public engaged and knowledgeable about what's happening understanding more of what's going on, and then ready to speak up to our local officials," Calloway said.
Calloway said some elected leaders are sending the wrong message to the public.
"The governor yesterday said some pretty silly things about he thinks it could be safe. Well, he's a dermatologist and a politician, what does he know about pipelines," Calloway said.
Curator Wayne McNeil said the center invited representatives from several organizations to take part in Saturday's discussion.
"The exhibit this year is the future's project. It's an investigation of the future of Mobile and the possibility for our region, and one of our focus areas during this nine month project is the environment and it became evident to us that we would have to host an event about tar sands to educate the public and to also to try to be part of a positive solution," McNeil said.
Earlier this month, demonstrators gathered outside the GM&O building in Mobile to protest tar sands moving through the area.
They're concerned about the toxic material, and the potentially devastating impact should there be a mishap like the one in Arkansas in April, or the oil sands train crash in Canada in July.
Teresa Bettis is with the Center for Fair Housing. Her agency is concerned about the areas where the petroleum projects are being proposed.
"Right now the proposed areas, many of those that would be affect by that would be low to moderate income homes, and minority communities. So that's a concern not just because they're minorities but because in general when we talk about communities and where families live, we want to make sure that they're given and afforded the best opportunity to live in a safe and healthy environment," Bettis said.
Plains Southcap has a new application that goes before the Public Service Commission in Montgomery on October 30.
The groups are asking the public to write the PSC and request the meeting be held in Mobile.
Some Mount Vernon residents were on their way home from the grocery store when they said they were caught in the middle of a gun fight.
Friends are shocked by the murder of a woman who used to call Mobile home. Atlanta investigators say 43-year-old Pamela Williams was shot during a home invasion robbery Saturday, November 30. She died Monday.
People who live in four neighborhoods near the proposal Blue Creek Coal Terminal are circulating petitions, hoping to convince the Mobile Planning Commission to not approve a permit for the facility.
Mobile Planning Commission scheduled to talk about a new subdivision application for McGowin Park, near Hank Aaron Stadium.
Gov. Robert Bentley said Alabama will be among the states submitting a proposal next week to build Boeing's new 777X aircraft, and the proposal will stress more than just the money the state is offering.