© Chappatte, The New York Times        www.chappatte.com

Platform

Platform Keywords are Clean, Climate, and Jobs.
Jobs and climate matter. A clean port matters too.
Climate Change is Here
As Port Commissioner, I will
  • work to prevent any new business or industry that will contribute to climate change.

  • convince the Port to use its substantial areas of wetland to mitigate the effects of violent storms and their storm surges on local coastal residents and businesses.

  • seek 21st century industries (that will not drive climate change) to locate at the Port. They will generate jobs and stimulate the local economy. 

  • work to keep the Port unique among Texas seaports, the only port that doesn’t stink, doesn’t smoke, and doesn’t support or create major disease clusters.

  • help the Port lead the way into the mid-21st century by running itself as a carbon free entity, starting with solar panels on the new Administration Building and creating incentives for established Port businesses to do the same.

 
 
Clean is about taking responsibility for (limiting) pollution leaving the port borders.

The coronavirus tragedy exemplifies what happens when a government places corporate profit over public health and safety. Some people die. Everyone suffers. And ironically, in trying to protect the economy, the government destroys it.

Therefore, at the Port of Brownsville, we mustn’t lose sight of our responsibility for public health.

At odds with this responsibility is the way the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) seems to value the profits of companies they monitor more than public health.

Read more...

 

Assist In Planning For Climate Change and Possible Laws Regarding Fossil Fuel Production And Use

The 21st century will be the Climate Change Century in future history books. For example, the two hottest Februaries since record keeping began in 1880 were in 2016 and 2020.i Such record-high temperatures cause drought, leading to huge forest fires such as the one in Australia that killed over a million forest animals in 2020 and the 2018 Paradise fire, the deadliest and most destructive since record keeping began in California. As ocean temperatures rise, hurricanes have become stronger, more destructive, and more frequent. For example, in 2017 Harvey produced record rainfall—over 60 inches in places—and Harvey was soon followed by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

No place on Earth will be spared the effects of climate change, including the Port of Brownsville, which will be affected in a number of ways, including the following:

  • Hurricane-force winds—damaging Port structures, fuel tanks, and boats;

  • Sea level rise—possibly at exponential rates, making Port structures obsolete sooner;

  • Inland flooding from a hurricane or storm—bringing feet of water flowing back toward the Port.

 

As Port Commissioner, I would work to mitigate these effects by creating a process for verifying that properties and businesses are up to code and adequately insured. In addition, I would initiate an ongoing dialog with stakeholders to help the Port prepare for the consequences of climate change.

 

The main driver causing climate change is burning fossil fuels. Burning fuels requires preparing the fuels from raw materials, LNG from natural gas, gasoline, jet fuel and diesel from crude oil. Not hosting LNG facilities and oil refineries, will reduce upstream causes of climate change including:

  • methane losses from pipelines,

  • methane losses at fracking wells,

  • flaring of methane at fracking wells,

  • methane seeping from the well up through the soil, as well as

  • end use.

 

Fortunately, the Port can help combat climate change by refusing to do the following:

  • Host oil refineries (none currently exist at the Port),

  • Host plastic pellet manufacturers (none currently exist at the Port),

  • Host LNG export facilities (none currently exist at the Port),

  • Engage in practices that require or encourage new oil pipelines,

  • Engage in practices that encourage fracking.

 

While some may argue that we must tolerate industries contributing to climate change and endangering our health for the sake of jobs, in reality these industries are on their way to becoming obsolete because the 21st century will also be the century when renewable energy replaces fossil fuels as the dominant energy source. The Port needs to help the Rio Grande Valley prepare for this economic shift by encouraging the creation of new industries, and in turn make Brownsville the largest renewable energy port in Texas, creating even more jobs.

 

One example is the wind turbine industry. The Port is pleased to be a pass-through importer of wind turbine blades for the South Texas wind-farm business. Building on this existing industry, the Port should work to attract a turbine blade manufacturer to the Port.  Keppel Amfels, according to its website, is capable of building wind turbine towers. The rest of the wind turbine is the nacelle that sits atop the tower, containing the transmission, generator, and electronics.

 

The Port would also combat climate change if it were to lead by example and become powered by renewable energy. It could start by installing solar panels on the roof of its lovely new Administration Building—and maybe attract factories that produce these panels.

As Port Commissioner, I would start moving the Port toward the changes the 21st century will inevitably bring. I would work to diversify the types of business at the Port while helping us shift to those that combat climate change and produce 21st jobs. I want to help make the Port of Brownsville the most energy-advanced in Texas.

ihttps://blogs.scientificamerican.com/eye-of-the-storm/february-2020-earths-2nd-warmest-february-and-3rd-warmest-month-on-record/

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