Annova LNG is proposing to build a transfer facility for natural gas – the same gas that may heat your home or cook your food – at the Port of Brownsville.

If our proposal passes a rigorous environmental review process and we decide to proceed, Annova LNG would invest as much as $2.9 billion in Cameron County.

That investment would support an average of 675 on-site jobs over a four-year period, which translates to approximately $324 million in direct labor income for Rio Grande Valley residents, according to an Ernst & Young economic analysis completed in February 2015. Once operational, the facility would employ about 165 workers at an average salary of about $70,000 per year.

Beyond these direct economic benefits, the Annova LNG project would put Brownsville at the forefront of a U.S. energy renaissance that would literally fuel a positive, global environmental change. Natural gas exported from the Port of Brownsville would be able to support the conversion of older, dirtier coal-burning power plants in Asia and elsewhere to cleaner gas generation.

Change can be difficult. It’s even harder when people who claim to care about the environment spread misinformation to try to scare people into opposing the Annova LNG project.

Opponents portray the proposed LNG transfer terminal as a much bigger and more complicated petroleum refinery. It is not. It is a facility that cools natural gas to a liquid and then loads it onto ships for transport, and has none of the capabilities or processes of a petrochemical plant.

They claim that flaring towers will constantly light up the night sky, that huge structures will mar the horizon from miles away, that the facility will be a major source of air pollutants, that LNG poses an explosive hazard to nearby communities, and that the project will irreparably harm endangered species. All of these claims are demonstrably false, and you don’t have to take Annova’s word for it. The regulatory review process requiring 26 permits from more than a dozen federal, state and local agencies will address each and every one of them.

The latest targets of misinformation have been tax abatements that Annova LNG is seeking to help with project financing. In all, even with the abatements (which are a common economic expansion tool used throughout Texas), Annova LNG alone would pay nearly $300 million in local taxes over the life of the facility. This is new public money that can build schools and parks; fund police, fire and rescue services; pay for college programs; enhance wildlife preserves; provide social services; and accomplish many other goals important to the people of the Rio Grande Valley.

Opponents falsely claim the abatements mean Annova LNG won’t pay taxes, or that the local community will bear an increased tax burden. To the contrary, Annova LNG would be bringing in new tax dollars that the community does not have today. Geography, land availability and a pool of skilled local workers all make the Port of Brownsville an attractive location for an investment by Annova LNG.

Opponents of the Annova LNG project want to force people to choose between economic progress for one of the poorest counties in the United States and protection for the environment and public safety. The truth is there is no choice – we can have both. Residents of the Rio Grande Valley can enjoy the economic benefits of Annova’s investment with extensive safeguards for the environment and public safety. At Annova, we will ensure that.

If we proceed with the Annova LNG project, we’ll become one of the largest taxpayers in Cameron County. We want to be part of the community, and we plan to be here for the long haul. That’s why we would pay nearly $300 million in taxes, in addition to our capital investment and strong payroll, to bring good jobs and economic opportunity to the Rio Grande Valley. For more information, please visit us