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Media Contact:

Gregg Bisso, Surfside Beach City Alderman, 713.419.1595;
Ethan Buckner, Earthworks, 612.718.3847, ebuckner@earthworks.org

Surfside Beach TX, Mar 11 — At 7:54pm CST last night the Surfside City Council voted unanimously (5-0) to oppose the Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT), a proposed deepwater crude oil export facility. If built, the project would include the construction of onshore and offshore oil terminals, with two 36” pipelines to deliver up to 2 million barrels per day of crude oil onto Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) for export to global markets.

“I’ve been coming to Surfside my whole life. My dream of living here came true in 2002. Now the SPOT project will run though our beach and sand dunes destroying the area where our endangered turtles nest,” said Surfside Beach Alderman Greg Bisso. “I challenge the leaders of these corporations to witness an endangered turtle crawling from the water to lay her eggs in the dunes and then watch the baby turtles hatch and make their way back to the water, and then decide their profits are more important.”

In advance of public comment deadlines to the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Maritime Administration (MARAD), and the US Coast Guard (USCG), the City of Surfside will send a formal letter of opposition to the project. At time of this release, the letter hadn’t yet been finalized.

SPOT would negatively impact local communities, ecosystems and property values due to a variety of factors include the onshore terminal’s air pollution, the considerable risk of a major oil spill both onshore and in Gulf waters, and threats to the Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle, the world’s most critically endangered sea turtle species, which nests on Surfside Beach. The twin pipelines would cut straight through Surfside, threatening local drinking water supplies. SPOT would be one of several recently built or proposed large-scale oil-and-gas export or petrochemical projects in Brazoria County, which already suffers from air quality that fails to meet EPA health standards.

Construction of new export capacity could accelerate drilling for oil in the Permian Basin that would otherwise stay in the ground, at a time when the global economy is transitioning to renewables, and the world is calling for low carbon energy solutions to address the threats of global climate change.

“This ill-conceived project sacrifices public health, Gulf Coast ecosystems, and our global climate to lock in decades more oil production demand as the world increasingly turns to renewables,” said Ethan Buckner, Energy Campaigner with Earthworks. “Oil exports here mean one thing: blowing up the Permian Basin climate bomb. Climate science demands an end to expanded oil production, SPOT only moves us in the wrong direction.”

On Wednesday, March 11, Surfside Beach residents are organizing a community meeting and public comment workshop at Seahorse Bar & Grill. More details about this event are on Facebook.

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