Letter to the Editor for Nov. 2, 2017

Special to the PRESS


Cameron County Commissioners recently voted to approve short-term tax abatement agreements with Rio Grande LNG that will help bring great benefits to our Rio Grande Valley (RGV). I and many other residents agree with this bold move by our County Commissioners.

For many years the RGV has been losing residents (among them two sisters, two brothers-in-law and two brothers of mine) to San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.

It’s about time our county leaders negotiate with companies such as Rio Grande LNG to bring jobs and other benefits to the RGV.

By encouraging companies such as Rio Grande LNG to locate in the RGV we will be able to compete with the larger cities in Texas. Companies such as Rio Grande LNG help bring thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment to our community.

The proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) project is expected to be by far the biggest economic opportunity our region has ever seen.

The company is expected to create up to 6,000 direct jobs during construction and more than 250 permanent jobs during operations, not to mention stimulating the local economy and creating thousands of additional indirect jobs. This is what the RGV needs in light of the decline in customers/tourists from our southern neighbor Mexico due to the current situation in that country.

The county also negotiated a $10 million Community Benefits Agreement to fund ongoing and long-term community projects, such as community parks or enhanced public services. These are projects that would otherwise be paid for with taxpayers’ money.  Taxpayer money can then be redirected for other needed services.

It is my understanding that since it was first proposed more than two years ago, the project has been and continues to be thoroughly vetted by local leaders and residents, as well as more than a dozen state and federal regulatory agencies. Without a doubt, safety concerns and issues are being addressed.

These county tax abatement agreements are a major milestone in moving this important project forward while ensuring great benefits for our residents. As I mentioned, I support this move and applaud our County Commissioners for helping bring new jobs and investment to our region.

Victor Cortez

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