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Media Contact:

Rebekah Staub, Permian-Gulf Communications Manager, rstaub@earthworks.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Residents of the Texas Gulf Coast today urged Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigeig to reject the application for Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT), a dangerous oil export terminal proposed in Brazoria and Harris counties that would increase toxic air pollution and make climate change worse.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) oversees permitting of SPOT and other Deepwater Ports for the construction of oil and gas export projects.

“We have more than our unfair share of these terrible projects,” said Freeport resident Melanie Oldham during the event. “We are unfortunately the sacrifice community and we’ve been sacrificed for way too long. We do not need any more projects in our area.”

SPOT is one of more than 20 fracked oil, gas, and liquified natural gas (LNG) export facilities planned for construction or expansion in the U.S., almost exclusively concentrated along the Louisiana and Texas coast where refineries and petrochemical plants have been disproportionately located in low income communities, communities of color, and on Indigenous lands for decades. Gulf Coast residents are forced to suffer from toxic air and water pollution, high energy costs, and the immediate impacts of the climate crisis all for industry profit.

“Decisions that are going to be made by Pete Buttigeig and others are going to directly affect coastal communities,” said John Beard, founder of Port Arthur Community Action Network, in front of DOT. “The Gulf Coast is a critical area not only for its relevance to the petrochemical industry but its relevance to our lives, and the lives of our communities, and our children, and our children’s children. Our present as well as our future is on the Gulf Coast.”

Gulf Coast communities are hit the hardest by the climate crisis, which is caused by emissions from fossil fuel production and use. Fossil fuel projects like 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.