Exxon and Saudia Arabia’s SABIC want to build a massive petrochemical facility featuring “The World’s Largest” Ethane Steam Cracker, 2 Polyethylene (plastics) units, and a monoethylene glycol (antifreeze) unit.  The proposed 1400-acre site on Wildcat Drive is only a mile from Gregory-Portland schools.

Seven Good Reasons to Oppose the Exxon-SABIC-GCGV Steam Cracker Plant

  1. The Plant Will Release Emissions
    1. The only question is how much will be allowed. This is yet to be determined by the EPA and TCEQ air permitting process. Similar Steam Cracking Plants (Baytown) produce the following emissions into the air, water or soil: Sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide (from burning of natural gas), Benzene (causes cancer), Butadiene (causes cancer), Greenhouse Gases like Carbon Dioxide, and Smog Air from volatile organic compounds
    2. Source: Applied Petrochemical Research, June 2014, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp. 167-179, article on Steam Cracker emissions accessed from SpringerLink http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13203-013-0029-7
  2. Those Emissions Will Blow into Gregory and Portland
    1. Prevailing winds in the cooler months (November-February) blow from a Northerly direction between 35-50% of the time, putting Gregory and Portland in a direct path of emissions. And year-round when the wind isn’t blowing, emissions will rain down upon the town like an umbrella, enveloping the town with toxic chemicals.
    2. Sources: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Prevailing Wind Data and Wind Data from the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station http://tceq.state.tx.us/airquality/monops/windroses.html and https://www.windfinder.com/windstatistics/corpus_christi_nas
  3. Proposed Location is too Close to Schools and Homes
    1. The edge of the proposed property is 1 mile from the GP High School and Junior High and 1 mile from Stephen F. Austin Elementary. Even if the facility itself is offset on the property with a half-mile buffer, the actual plant will still be less than 2 miles from three different schools putting schoolchildren in a direct path of emissions.  Many homes are literally across the street from the proposed location and would suffer tremendous property value loss and suffer the brunt of emissions as well as noise and light pollution.
  4. The Proposed Location Blocks City Growth
    1. With Ingleside and an industrial zone to the East, the Bay to the South and Wind Farms to the West, the best place for the future growth of Portland and Gregory is to the North. When you consider the school district boundaries, this is why the new high school and housing developments were built on the North side of town to anticipate future growth.  This begs the question, if such a plant is expected to bring massive growth to Gregory and Portland: where will it go?  The proposed location blocks any of that growth and lacks foresight into civil engineering and local city planning.
  5. This Plant Would Be the First of Many
    1. Robert Tully, Exxon executive said the following, “The same things that make Victoria attractive to us are going to make Victoria attractive to the next opportunity that comes along. I can tell you that just within Exxon-Mobil…I know of several other projects that are earlier in the pipeline, so there they’re not quite as far along [site selection].  There’s more coming, because there is more gas and you can see, the demand is coming.”
    2. Based on those comments, if this plant gets approved there will be many more like it lining up and expecting a tax break right along with them. This will forever change the city of Portland.
    3. Source: Video Presentation to the Victoria Economic Development Corporation (quote comes in at 27’10”) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs8ekYFGN04
  6. There’s Not Enough Water to Support This Plant
    1. This plant will use 20 million gallons of water per day (or 7.3 billion gallons per year). That is more than the total combined usage of water in all of San Patricio County.  It also represents 1/3 of the total water usage of the city of Corpus Christi.  Corpus Christi and San Patricio County continue to be locked into a seemingly perpetual water restriction notice, so why would we want to approve a Steam Cracker Plant that would use massive amounts of water that we don’t have?  On top of that, Gulf Coast Growth Ventures admits that there isn’t enough water in this area for their needs and says, “Independent of our project, the city of Corpus Christi and San Patricio Municipal Water District anticipate a need for additional regional supply in the longer term (2030s or 2040s) and are working proactively on opportunities for increased supply. Projected demands could accelerate this need for additional regional supply by about five years.”
    2. Source: Gulf Coast Growth Ventures Website http://www.gulfcoastgv.com/water-supply
  7. We Shouldn’t Support SABIC – A Company 70% Owned by the Saudi Arabian Government
    1. Gulf Coast Growth Ventures is a company established by a partnership between Exxon and SABIC (Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation). Saudi Arabia has an atrocious human rights record, and still to this day is ranked very poorly world-wide among human rights watchdogs.  They are a country that does not share American values, and we should not be interested in supporting a government that oppresses its own people.
    2. Source: Human Rights Watch Website https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2016/country-chapters/saudi-arabia