Today, a coalition of local, regional and national environmental and community groups sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging them to take necessary action to stop several deepwater port terminals proposed throughout the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas and Louisiana coasts. If built, these terminals would drive the global export of massive quantities of domestically-extracted crude oil on shipping vessels known as Very Large Crude Carriers (“VLCCs”), each as large as the Empire State Building.
Specifically, the signers are urging the Secretaries to direct the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to deny the Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT), Texas GulfLink, Blue Marlin, and Bluewater Texas VLCC crude export projects, and all other pending deepwater port fossil fuel export licensing applications.
Each of the proposals has the capacity to load and export as much as 2 million barrels of crude oil per day, mostly produced in Texas’ Permian Basin and North Dakota’s Bakken Formation. The projects would export pollution and lock in new and expanded domestic fossil fuel production, transport and processing infrastructure, perpetuating fossil fuel dependence for decades to come.
“Port Arthur is on the front lines of climate change; ecologically sensitive coastal wetlands are a source of livelihood, food, recreation and natural beauty which could be lost to generations from a single spill incident. Current enforcement actions are insufficient, and the risk too great to proceed with such a project,” said John Beard, Jr. CEO, Port Arthur Community Action Network (PACAN).
“Oil and gas companies think that export terminals are needed for our future, but they are destroying the Gulf of Mexico, which is still home to many Indigenous people. Recently in Corpus Christi, a multi-million dollar plastic facility project and a huge crude loading carrier contract dissolved. Export terminals are no longer needed and will not survive in a society that does not need them or want them. Cars are going green, homeowners are turning to green ways of sustaining their homes, and the people are using less and less of their products. Oil and gas companies behind export terminals think that the transition of moving away from fossil fuels is not near, yet they fail to realize they are smack in the middle of this change. It is time to transition!” said Love Sanchez of Corpus Christi, Texas and member of the Indigenous People of the Coastal Bend (clan member of Karankawa People of the Gulf Coast).
“The proposed GulfLink and SPOT oil terminals are looming threats to our ways of life, to our communities, and to our climate. Our communities have been clear: we don’t want or need these dirty facilities. Additionally, the detrimental impacts would extend beyond our pristine island, driving the mass export of fossil fuels elsewhere. Immediate action must be taken by this administration to ensure these terminals are never built,” said Donna Robinson, community organizer from Surfside, TX fighting against the proposed GulfLink and SPOT oil terminals.
In addition, the signers are requesting a meeting with agency representatives to further discuss the pending deepwater port applications and licensing processes.
The diverse coalition of groups represented includes: Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas, Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe, Clean Economy Coalition, Clean Energy Now Texas, Earth Action Inc., Environment Texas, For the Greater Good, Healthy Gulf, The Indigenous People of the Coastal Bend, Ingleside on the Bay Coastal Watch, Oil Change International, Port Arthur Community Network, Property Rights and Pipeline Center, San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper, Society of Native Nations, South Texas Human Rights Center, Stop SPOT and GulfLink, Save Our Gulf Coast, Texas Campaign for the Environment, Turtle Island Restoration Network, T Coastal Bend Surfrider Foundation, Western Environmental Law Center, Rapid Shift Network, Businesses for a Livable Climate, Texas Drought Project, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Call to Action Colorado, CatholicNetwork.US, Earthjustice, Center for Biological Diversity, Earthworks, Sierra Club.