Letters to the Editor for Aug. 6, 2015

Special to the PRESS

Dear Editor,

Three companies are seeking permission to build plants along the Brownsville Ship Channel to liquefy natural gas and export it to countries in South America, Europe and Asia on 1000 foot long tankers.  Do we want to risk spoiling our beaches that are the cleanest in Texas – free of harmful bacteria and asphalt?  Do we want to risk losing our tourist industry, including folks from Houston, Galveston and Corpus Christi who come here because their own beaches are fouled?

Friends of the Laguna Madre is hosting an Open House on Sunday, August 9 from 4 to 7 pm in the Port Isabel Community Center where local families can learn more about Liquefied Natural Gas and what it means for us in this area if the proposed plants are built.  Please join us and learn the truth about LNG.

Do we want to risk spoiling our shrimping, fishing and boating enterprises that use the channel and depend on clean water and air?  Do we want to risk irreparable damage to our wetlands in the Bahia Grande area for the sake of a few jobs in a last century, dirty fossil fuel industry when we have renewable clean energy technology available now that will provide clean jobs – and is providing them now.  New wind-power towers, blades and turbines are arriving at the port of Brownsville now and are being trucked to the Rio Hondo/Raymondville area for installation.

Once our wetlands are drained and covered with cement, huge storage tanks, noisy machinery and toxic flares it will be too late.  There will be security boats and helicopters escorting the huge tankers in and out of the channel and port. We will never be able to restore this area to its wild and natural condition – a state just now being achieved after 20 years of work by Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, Cameron County, The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and 63 other agencies federal, state, local and private.

Bring your family for food, entertainment and information August 9 from 4 to 7pm…Please spread the word!

Victoria A Scharen

Port Isabel


Dear Editor,

Anyone who cares about the quality of life or economic development in our area of the lower Rio Grande Valley needs to oppose Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) developments in our area.  Their presence will wreck our ecotourism economy as well as commercial and sport fishing industries.

The Laguna Madre area is the major economic driver for Cameron County.  Our area generates at least $370 million dollars annually and is responsible for about 3,400 jobs.  We have over one million visitors per year.  Virtually all of the money generated stays in our area and the jobs are filled locally.  Most, if not all of the profits genera LNG plants will go up North to wherever the plant headquarters are located.  After construction is complete, most of the permanent  jobs will be low paying service jobs such as parking lot attendants and janitors.  The LNG plants are not your grandfather’s oil refineries; they are highly automated.  The natural gas produced is planned for export because it is more profitable.  One LNG plant estimates that it will generate $34 million dollars annually in economic activity.  This is about one-tenth on what our current ecotourism and fishing activities generate.  LNG depends on a finite fossil fuel that will become obsolete or exhausted and properly managed natural resource industries are forever.

The TX LNG Co. Report #4 states that they plan to construct two storage tanks, each 150 feet high.  Their “liquefaction trains”, whatever those are, will also be 150 feet tall.  Their primary flare tower will be 400 feet tall.  Since there are about ten feet between floors on skyscrapers these structures will be like two fifteen story buildings and one forty story building.  The LNG tankers that will have to transport the liquefied gas will be as long and wide as the obsolete military battleships that were just transported here.

The Northern Texas Gulf Coast has a lot of industrial development from Corpus Christi all the way up to Orange.  People who live in those areas come to the lower Rio Grande Valley to enjoy the beach.  Nobody from this area goes up there for a beachfront vacation.  That should tell us a lot about how desirable LNG plants are.  We need to do whatever is necessary to keep them out of Cameron County and the whole area

Walter Birdwell

Laguna Vista


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