Special to the PRESS
Liquefied natural gas a safer, less polluting energy source
I’m encouraged to see the Rio Grande LNG project moving forward. As a retired US Coast
Guard officer who has lived and worked in the Port Isabel tax district for at least 15 years, I am a proponent of the LNG development where sited. Having had LNG tanker training that included firefighting, chemistry, handling and production, I am convinced that LNG offers a safer and less polluting energy source than crude oil marine transportation, refineries, refined product distribution and end-user air pollution. Sure, I believe in alternative energy, but it’s not there yet. Check out the Kenai, Alaska LNG plant which opened in 1965 and has been operating for 40 years as the only export plant in the US.
The pollution aspect for us is negligible. Scrubbers and re-injection technology has been around for at least 50 years and steadily improving. CO2, mercury, nitrous oxide, and water pollution are not an issue in today’s environmental technology. Concerns about horizontal explosive plumes are unfounded. In training, we confronted 6,000 gallons every morning for a week. It ignites straight up, quickly, and burns very hot. I can only shake my head at the propane risk argument when we all use it.
I would also encourage folks to check out the Point Isabel Independent School District board’s recent vote to not submit for the Chapter 313 review. Strikes me as being purely political and not in the best interest of the school/community. By not submitting, if the facility goes forward, then the district gets nada. It’s not about approving or disapproving of LNG, it is merely a submission/request for review, which could significantly improve the district’s bottom line.
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