The Rio Grande Valley and Cameron County are among the poorest in the nation. All of our communities want to see our area prosper and industries expand and locate to our area. With regards to the LNG industry, we have a port with ample real estate and operational capacity to handle this new industry. Hundreds of millions of dollars in capital investment will be made and many new good-paying jobs will be created.
Much of the opposition to this industry has cast the LNG industry as some large pollution source and a safety nightmare waiting to happen. As this industry is heavily regulated by state and federal environment oversight, the rhetoric that these plants would be some renegade polluters or be a cataclysmic safety issue are preposterous.
I’m sure that if given an unlikely set of circumstances, an accident could happen. But I don’t think LNG is any more dangerous or prone to safety incident than similar industries currently in operation. There are countless barges and ships carrying fuel and other volatile oils in our local shipping lanes today and I don’t see or hear any opposition to these, nor have these resulted in some environmental calamity.
I respect the opinions of people who dislike the idea of LNG at our port. However, our area needs new good-paying jobs, we need industry, and we need to better utilize our port. There are other ports in the U.S. with LNG facilities that have been a positive economic driver for their communities. We have the opportunity to welcome a new industry to our community that will make a positive impact. I support it.