Help us tell the Cameron County Commissioners (again) NO tax break giveaways for LNG!
On December 19, 2023 the Cameron County Commissioners’ Court voted unanimously to consider entering into an agreement to give huge tax breaks to Texas LNG, in spite of numerous vocal and written comments in opposition!
We need your help. It’s time we tell them (again) NO tax break giveaways for LNG!
SAVE THE DATE:
The next meeting of the Cameron County Commissioners Court is January 2, 2024, 9:30 a.m. Please plan to attend and join your community in making a strong showing AGAINST tax abatements to multi-trillion dollar fossil fuel corporations. They have already given Rio Grande LNG $300 MILLION in abatements.
HOW TO COMMENT:
There are two options at the bottom of the form (you will need to select one):
□ I wish to address the County Judge and County Commission [THREE (3) MINUTE TIME LIMIT]
□ I DO NOT wish to address the County Judge and Commission, but do wish to register my opinion.
IF YOU WISH TO ADDRESS THE COUNTY COMMISSION:
Specify whether your comment will be an in person comment or a video conference comment PRIOR to 8:45 am on January 2, 2024 by emailing email@example.com along with your Registration Form. So DO IT NOW! Then, show up on January 2, 2024 no later than 9:15 a.m. at the Cameron County Courthouse, 2nd floor, 1100 East Monroe St., Brownsville, TX, or if making a video conference comment, be at your device no later than 9:15 a.m. with and video enabled. The meeting can be accessed by ZOOM (meeting id and passcode required) To locate the Meeting ID and Passcodes for Zoom attendance, you can find them on the Commissioners’ Court Agendas here: commissioners-court-agendas. Select the January 2, 2024 agenda which will be posted a few days prior to the meeting.
IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO ADDRESS THE COUNTY COMMISSION BUT WANT YOUR COMMENT REGISTERED:
Remember, if you are unable to attend either in person or video conference, you can still have your comments registered by emailing the Public Comment Registration Form to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tag the subject line as “PUBLIC COMMENT IN OPPOSITION TO TAX ABATEMENTS FOR TEXAS LNG” and select the “□ I DO NOT wish to address the County Judge and Commission, but do wish to register my opinion.” at the bottom of the form.
TO WATCH THE MEETING VIA INTERNET-INSTRUCTIONS
Watch online here: https://www.cameroncountytx.gov/commissioners-court-agendas/ then click Watch Commisioners’ Court Room Meetings.
WHO IS OUR CAMERON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS’ COURT?
County Judge, Eddie Treviño, Jr. - email@example.com
Commissioner Pct. 1, Sofia C. Benavides - firstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Pct. 2, Joey Lopez - email@example.com
Commissioner Pct. 3, David A. Garza - firstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Pct. 4, Gus Ruiz -email@example.com
HELP WITH WHAT TO COMMENT:
Talking points for comment. Please add your own for more impact:
1. Tax abatements to Texas LNG are not an incentive to keep them here. They decided on this location in 2014. Their permit is specific to this particular environment and location. They cannot threaten to build elsewhere if tax abatements are not granted. They would have to apply for a NEW permit which would cause further delays. It has been 10 years since they were permitted for our Port. Giving them tax incentives now is not fiscally prudent, nor beneficial to our growing community.
2. The Point Isabel ISD voted against giving school tax abatements to Texas LNG last year, clearly sending a strong message from affected communities. Do not grant County tax abatements in deference to one of our school districts. Listen to your constituents and do not consider, publish nor enter into any agreement with Texas LNG granting tax abatements.
3. We are a poor county. Taxes are rising year after year, rent is skyrocketing, housing prices are 40-50% over valued and climbing. Giving tax abatements to trillion dollar corporations, that can absolutely afford to pay taxes, should not even be a consideration. Subsidizing these multi-trillion dollar industries with taxpayer money is unconscionable.
4. Per the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) there are no air quality monitoring stations in the vicinity of any permitted LNG terminal site at our Port. At the very least, the County must demand these corporations pay to install air quality monitoring stations in Port Isabel, Laguna Vista, Los Fresnos, and Laguna Heights, preferably near our schools. The cumulative impacts from Texas LNG and Rio Grande LNG, not to mention the additional heavy industrial companies targeting our Port, will directly impact air quality and will be felt in these communities due to the prevailing SSE winds. If the corporations, or our County officials refuse, it is because they do not want us to know the toxic air we will be breathing. Are you comfortable turning our communities into a cancer alley like so many industrialized fossil fuel coastline cities along Texas and Louisiana? Without air quality monitoring stations, we won’t know what damage has affected our children until it’s too late.
5. The argument that Rio Grande LNG was granted tax abatements is not an excuse to give Texas LNG the same consistent consideration. To excerpt a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers… .”
6. It appears suspicious that the County put this on their agenda for consent the week before Christmas, knowing full well people are distracted and busy. Is this an obvious attempt to suppress public comment? This item should have been tabled until Q1 when the public had resumed routine activities and could schedule time to be properly involved in the public comment process, especially in light of the numerous comments voicing strong opposition to abatements for Texas LNG. Instead they voted to consider an agreement for tax abatements unanimously. Tell them this was wrong!
Thank you for your continuous support. Your letters and comments do add up and do make a difference.
There's No Such Thing as Small in the LNG Industry
Texas LNG's site, the smallest of the three proposed projects, is 625 acres and consists of two trains to process LNG. The original LNG storage tanks were designed to be approximately 290 feet in outer tank diameter and 190 feet in height from grade to the top of the dome roof. On February 12, 2018, Texas LNG filed changes with FERC in the design of the single containment storage tank to full containment storage tanks increasing the size slightly to 5 feet wider and about 1% increase in height. Texas LNG noted that a reason for the change was the tanks are better to with stand impact from an external projectile hitting the surface. Are they perhaps referring to debris and projectiles from Space X?
Texas LNG will export LNG via 2 LNG tankers per 10 to 11 days. It will take tankers 1-1.5 hours to enter the ship channel and 1-1.5 to exit the ship channel.
Destroying History and Sacred Sites
Texas LNG, one of the companies proposing an LNG terminal, submitted a 92-page document located deep in the FERC website called “Resource Report 4: Cultural Resources.” The report outlines the company’s efforts to contact numerous Texas tribes to gather information about the Garcia Pasture site. Based on the report, however, Texas LNG failed to contact the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas, the tribal group that originates from the South Texas Rio Grande Delta.
National Register of Historic Places
Rolando Garza, a local Brownsville archeologist with the National Park
Service, has said that, "The Garcia Pasture Site is one of the premier prehistoric archeological sites in Cameron County.” In his opinion, “this site warrants long-term preservation." The site contains an indigenous cemetery, remains of a pre-columbian village, and many artifacts from nomadic cultures.
Putting Port Isabel in the Evacuation Zone
Texas LNG's liquefied natural gas plant will be built less than 2 miles from Port Isabel. This is within the 2.2-mile outer hazard zone developed by Sandia National Laboratories for LNG tanker ships.(1) Additionally, it violates the 3-mile hazard zone recommended by chemical engineer and LNG safety expert Dr. Jerry Havens.(2) A March 2014 explosion at a smaller LNG plant in Washington State forced an evacuation of hundreds of people within a two-mile radius. Luckily the fire burned itself out and the LNG did not ignite, but a local fire chief notated that if it had, everyone within three-quarters of a mile would have been killed.(3)
LNG Processing and Transport is Inherently Risky
Texas LNG's storage tanks wil be holding enormous quantities of natural gas, so in the event of an accident or intentional breach, the results could be catastrophic. When LNG is spilled it quickly converts back into a gas and forms a flammable vapor cloud that can drift fro some distance. If the cloud encounters an ignition source it will burn back to the LNG spill. LNG fires burn so hot that first responders cannot approach.(4) The LNG refrigeration process also uses fuels such as propane and ethylene to coo the gas, and these are even more volatile than methane.
Fouling the Air of Our Coastal Communities
Because the pipeline quality natural gas requires further refining before undergoing the liquefaction process, Texas LNG will produce emission such as cancer-causing volatile organic compounds and carbon monoxide. The prevailing winds in the area blow out of the south southeast. This means that more often than not, any released will be blowing across the homes, businesses and schools along Highway 100. Read more about the pollution on the toxic emissions page
No Economic Boon for South Texas
South Korea will get the bulk of the skilled construction jobs, not South Texas. Texas LNG intends to build the liquefaction facility in South Korea and ship it to the Port of Brownsville in a barge.(5) The Cameron County Commission may also grant a tax abatement for Texas LNG as it did with Rio Grande LNG, ensuring that all of Texas LNG's profits will go to distant shareholders instead of local schools, fire departments and roads. Texas LNG has not yet applied for any tax abatements with Cameron County or the Point Isabel Independent School District.
LNG Threatens Our Existing Jobs
The massive industrialization and pollution that LNG will bring could erode important economic drivers such as commercial fishing, shrimping, and beach and nature tourism. Thousands of jobs here in the Rio Grande Valley depend on clean air, clean water an high quality fish and wildlife habitat.
Pipelines Will Degrade Wet Lands
The Texas LNG Lateral Pipeline will connect to the Valley Crossing Pipeline and go through approximately 7 miles of wetlands. Read more about the pipeline on the Texas LNG Lateral page.
Loss of Critical Habitat for Fish and Wildlife
The Texas LNG site contains numerous wetlands that will be filled in, as well as starkly beautiful coastal prairie and dense brush that will be bulldozed and paved over. Its pollutions, bright lights, and heavy traffic will also degrade Bahia Grande, the largest wetlands restoration project in North America and an important aquatic nursery.
More Dangerous and Dirty Fracking
The Energy Information Agency estimates that 60 percent to 80 percent of U.S. gas exports will come from a ramp-up of production.(6) Three quarters of that new production would come from shale through horizontal drilling and fracking. Building LNG terminals in the Port of Brownsville would therefore lead to a tremendous increase in fracking in the Eagle Ford
Shale region, with devastating consequences. Already rural south Texas is being transformed into an industrial zone. Scarce Texas water resources are being deleted, and in some instances permanently contaminated, and the pollution associated with fracking is making people sick.(7) Increased seismic activity has followed the expansion of fracking, and is increasingly being linked to fracking in general inadvertently injection wells in particular.
1 "Guidance on Risk Analysis and Safety Implications of a Large Liquefaction Natural Gas (LNG) Spill Over Water." Sandia National Labratories, Dec 2004.
2 Ted Sikinger. "Gas explosion at LNG facility in Washington prompts concerns about proposed export terminals in Oregon." The Oregonian, 1 Apr 2014.
3 Kristi Pihl, "Evacuation Area Near Plant to Be Reduced." Try-City Herald. 31 March 2014.
4"Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Import Terminals: Siting, Safety and Regulation." Congressional Research Service, 27 May 2004.
5 "Texas LNG Overview Greenfield Barge-based LNG Liquefaction & Export Project" Slideshow.txlng.com. Dec 2013.
6 U.S. Energy Information Agency, "Effect of Increased Natural Gas Exports on Domestic Energy Markets," Jan 2012. http://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/fe/pdf/fe_lng.pdf
7 Jim Morris, Lisa Song, and David Hasemyer, "Big Oil and Bad Air: Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas," Center for Public Integrity and the Weather Channel, 18 Feb 2014.