You Can’t Hide Your Lying Eyes

Portland Citizens United members protest before Gregory-Portland ISD School Board meeting.

No doubt, many of you have seen the news about Exxon’s newest “adjustment” to the potential jobs that will be generated by the new plant on the outskirts of Gregory and Portland.

In all of their public presentations they declared 11,000 new jobs during the construction phase, 600 new permanent jobs, and 3,500 indirect jobs. We always questioned those numbers and now, the first truth is revealed. Only 6,000 local jobs will be created during the construction phase, the other 5,000 jobs will be somewhere else because there are not enough local qualified individuals to build their plant. So, what of the 600 permanent jobs? Let us remind you that the tax abatement requests to the County and School District only guaranteed around 400. We suspect that is all we will get. The other 3,500 indirect jobs? If you paid close attention, those indirect jobs included all jobs, including suppliers and transportation workers from well beyond our “borders”, including rail transport, gas suppliers, etc. beyond our local market. So, did they lie to us about 11,000 new jobs to get local support and abatements? That depends on your definition of a lie. But, at a minimum, it was misleading. No doubt the 600 and 3,500 will also turn out to be misleading, at best. Just as they said the main part of the plant would be 1.75 miles from the High School when the plat now reveals the main part of the plant will be 1.0 miles from the high school. Stay strong and be ready for the public meeting when TCEQ will consider their application for air and water permits which they lied about as well…or misled?