Rebekah Staub, Permian-Gulf Communications Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON — More than 50,000 individuals and 30 organizations urged the Maritime Administration to reject the application for the Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT), a new oil export project in Brazoria and Harris counties that would increase toxic air pollution on the Texas Coast and make climate change worse.
Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips now has 45 days to issue a record of decision for the Deepwater Port License Application in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Proposed by Enterprise and Enbridge, SPOT would export 2 million barrels of domestic crude oil per day for global export via Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC). The project would increase toxic air pollution in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria region, which already suffers from air quality that fails to meet EPA health standards, and poses considerable risk of a major oil spill onshore and in Gulf waters that are still recovering from the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Construction of pipelines threatens critically endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles that nest on Surfside Beach.
Gulf Coast communities are hit the hardest by the climate crisis, which is caused by emissions from fossil fuel production and use. SPOT will increase these emissions, further harming this region through climate-related disasters such as hurricanes, drought, and extreme heat. The proposed project poses a significant threat to sensitive ecosystems, fishing, hunting, cultural, and recreational resources that are endemic to the Gulf Coast and its local economy.
**Statements from impacted community members and organizations:**
Melanie Oldham, Citizens for Clean Air and Water in Brazoria County:
“This project would add a tremendous amount of risk to tens of thousands of residents along the Texas Gulf Coast. The Biden Administration must choose our health and our climate over the greed of Enterprise and Enbridge, and deny permits to the SPOT project and all similar fossil fuel export terminals proposed in Gulf Coast communities.”
Sue Page, resident of Surfside Beach in Brazoria County:
“The SPOT pipeline must be stopped. To build infrastructure for almost 100 miles on land and offshore and tear through important ecosystems, wildlife habitats, and my own home in Surfside Beach is wrong. SPOT is an archaic project with no respect for the lives it impacts that comes at a steep price. The true cost of this SPOT’s inevitable oil spills and leaks, noise pollution, of diminished and harmful air quality, is my community’s health and wellbeing. Chevron is prepared to throw money at this project at every angle, but our health, environment, and homes are invaluable and cannot be compensated for.”
Chrystal Beasley, Texas Gulf Coast Energy Campaigner at Earthworks:
“Increasing hazardous air pollutants in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria region, which is a severe nonattainment region, is a death sentence to the children of our community. It is our hope that the Biden Administration will continue in their governmental oath and mission to fully evaluate the safety risk and liability to underserved communities along the Texas Gulf Coast and refrain from sacrificing our health and livelihood to benefit corporate shares.”
Mark Glover, former U.S. Coast Guard licensed boat operator and tankerman:
“If you’ve ever seen a VLCC load crude through an infrared camera at night or day, then you’ll know why so many people are against this crude oil export offshore pipeline. Stop SPOT and make a difference, vote for the people and not profits for big oil and flag of convenience tanker owners. Moreover, may all those who have a final vote on this project study and experience the release of Volatile Organic Compound gasses during the loading of these behemoth ships.”
Trevor Carroll, Brazoria County Organizer at Texas Campaign for the Environment:
“Enbridge has one of the worst track records of any pipeline company in the history of this country. Enterprise gouged Texans to the tune of hundreds of millions during Uri, and now our home energy bills are higher because of it. These irresponsible, greedy companies cannot be allowed to build a dangerous, climate-destroying deepwater disaster along our Texas Gulf Coast.”
Rebecca McCreary, Associate Attorney at the Sierra Club:
“The SPOT VLCC project is not in the national interest and must be rejected. The final EIS for the project fails to provide critical information and analyses necessary to complete environmental impact review and the Deepwater Port Act’s national interest determination. The national interest in securing a clean energy future, the urgent need to meaningfully address the climate crisis and lift up and protect frontline communities of color all weigh heavily against licensing the SPOT project, which will lock in decades of fossil fuel dependence and infrastructure and pollute Gulf communities already at the frontlines of climate disaster.”
Joanie Steinhaus, Gulf Program Director, Turtle Island Restoration Network:
“The Texas coast and our frontline communities have been overburdened by toxic industry for far too long. Communities have had to sacrifice their health, face decreases in property value, the risk of leakage from pipelines, toxic emissions and the potential for catastrophic disasters. We need to stop the expansion of fossil fuel facilities and stop the escalation of climate change. The SPOT permit needs to be rejected.”