Demonstrators stage LNG protest

Special to the PRESS

A group of protesters comprised of concerned citizens, the Sierra Club, the Lower Laguna Madre Foundation and the local chapter of the Audubon Society gathered at the foot of the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway on South Padre Island on Sunday, April 19 for two hours to show their opposition to the development of five liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals slated for the Port of Brownsville.

The event drew a crowd of approximately 75 people holding banners, waving signs, wearing costumes and chanting slogans such as “Not fair! Fresh air!” and “Hand in hand, RGV, take a stand!” According to the advertisement for the demonstration, the group, calling itself Save RGV from LNG, stated on its Facebook page that they “will be protesting the five liquefied natural gas export terminals proposed for the Port of Brownsville. We have chosen this date to coincide with the 5th anniversary of the BP Deepwater Oil Spill, the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.” The post goes on to say, “Fossil fuel companies are bad for coastal communities, and we want to show them that they aren’t welcome here. We are not willing to sacrifice our clean air, clean water and biodiverse wildlife habitats for corporate profits.”

Organizer Stefanie Herweck spoke with urgency about the seriousness of the situation. “We’re concerned about it for a variety of reasons. This is a bigger deal than people understand. Port Isabel needs to understand the magnitude of these plans.” Herweck continued, saying, “One single plant will be the single-source polluter in Cameron County – and there are five of them. We used Google Earth to calculate, and the south-southeast prevailing winds will blow the emissions from these plants directly towards Port Isabel High School.”

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