The Brownsville Chamber of Commerce is the largest pro-business, member focused organization in Brownsville, representing the interests of 850 businesses of all sizes.
Our members range from mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, banks, skilled craftsmen/women, hospitals and health care organizations that heal and care for our loved ones, school districts that educate our children, to colleges and universities that create future engineers, nurses, and educators.
They all have one thing in common – they count on the Chamber to be their voice. We fulfill this role by advocating for pro-business policies that create jobs and grow our economy. The Chamber provides vital business relevant information intended to help our members engage with new industries and business opportunities.
In the past few weeks, there has been a considerable amount of discussion on the proposed Liquefied Natural Gas export terminals in the Port of Brownsville. On behalf of the Board of Directors and members, I would like to reiterate the Chamber’s position on the proposed LNGs. In their first phase of development the three LNG projects, which the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is considering, represent a combined investment at the Port of Brownsville of nearly $10 billion. This level of investment in South Texas is unprecedented, so it is imperative to allow adequate time for our members to be informed and for the federal regulatory process to come to fruition. At the present time, the FERC permitting process is in the early stages. An environmental impact statement (EIS) by FERC, for each project, has yet to be released. This can take months. A significant amount of discernment of the economic and environmental impact that these facilities will have on our region is required. Diligence matters!
The Brownsville Chamber of Commerce has voiced its conceptual support of the proposed LNG facilities. In other words, in theory and based on the factual representation of the proposed facilities to date – the Chamber supports the idea, but more inquiry and discernment is necessary. Beyond this level of support, the Chamber has not made any official or formal endorsements of the LNG facilities. We support the FERC process and expect for the process to take its natural course. We cannot rely on the conjecture of special interest groups and others to determine our position. The Chamber has a strong resolve to monitor the regulatory permitting process and to express our members’ concerns to the LNG companies and FERC, so that they in turn can mitigate them within the regulatory process. We also expect the LNG companies to respond to our inquiries for factual and transparent information.
Our willingness to learn and understand the economic impact of the LNG facilities is not in lieu of also knowing the environmental safeguards that are necessary to protect and preserve our environmental wealth, which must pass from one generation to the next. Our members also value the quality of life that includes safe communities and beautiful beaches. The Chamber encourages its members to be informed. We are committed to serving as a conduit for the exchange of information, so that our members can positively contribute to the economic vitality that sustains and improves our quality of life.