The science is settled. Burning fossil fuels is putting our world at risk of catastrophe. The polluting gases trapped in our atmosphere are warming the global climate, melting polar ice, and leading to extreme storms, floods, droughts and wildfires. It's plain in every way: fossil fuels imperil the future of the entire planet.
This is to say nothing of the predominantly Black, Indigenous and low-income communities along the Texas and Louisiana coast who live and work near polluting oil and gas pipelines, plants and terminals every day. Fossil fuels have put the health and safety of countless Gulf Coast families at risk for decades, and continue to do so today.
To protect our communities and our climate, we must change course. Most importantly, it’s time to dump dirty fossil fuels and invest in a future powered by clean energy. But fossil fuel executives are rushing to spend billions to build massive new oil and gas facilities, hoping to lock the world into a future that continues to run (while it does) on oil and gas.
That’s where U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg comes in. With jurisdiction over the U.S. Maritime Administration, Secretary Buttigieg has the authority to reject required permits for four newly proposed deepwater crude oil export terminals in the Gulf of Mexico. In doing so, Secretary Pete can help lead America and the world in the direction of a sustainable future.
The Blue Marlin deepwater crude oil export terminal would be located 99 miles off the coast of Cameron Parish, Louisiana, with oil transferred from Jefferson County, Texas via a proposed new pipeline through Sabine Lake. A project of Energy Transfer, the terminal would service Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) ships.
New Fortress is proposing to build and operate the first offshore liquified "natural" gas export terminal, located just 16 miles off the southeastern coast of Grand Isle, Louisiana. The New Fortress terminal, which would receive gas via two new 24-inch pipelines, could export up to 2.8 million tons per year of LNG.
35 miles offshore from Surfside Beach, Texas, the Seaport Oil Terminal (SPOT) is a deepwater crude oil export facility proposed by Enbridge and Enterprise Products. The project includes 50 miles of new crude oil pipelines connected to a terminal in Oyster Creek. SPOT would be capable of exporting 2 million barrels of oil per day.
Make no mistake: These projects are ONLY good for the fossil fuel companies. They won’t help alleviate high prices at the gas pump, they won’t help U.S. allies in Europe weather the energy crisis brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, they won’t even create a meaningful number of new jobs. Instead, they’ll help a handful of fossil fuel executives and shareholders get richer, while the rest of the world suffers the consequences.
By rejecting the Maritime Administration permits for these five crude oil export terminals based on the risk they present to the climate and to coastal communities, Secretary Pete can live up to his commitment to consider the climate impact of every transportation decision. At risk is nothing less than the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the planet we live on!
Let’s help Pete Buttigieg help the planet. Please reach out to Secretary Pete TODAY and tell him why you want him to fight to protect our climate. Ask him to TOUR THE GULF COAST and meet with families impacted by the fossil fuel buildout. And urge him to REJECT THE PERMITS to build the Blue Marlin, Bluewater Texas, New Fortress, Seaport Oil Terminal, and Texas Gulflink projects!
Office of Secretary Pete Buttigieg
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20590
The Environmental Protection Agency has revoked a pollution control permit for the massive Bluewater Texas offshore export terminal, a proposed project of ‘Terrible 12’ polluter Trafigura and Phillips 66, located about 25 miles off the shore of Corpus Christi. The project had received a permit from the EPA under the Trump administration which would have allowed it to emit almost 19,000 tons of volatile organic compounds per year – more than the total from all VOC emitters in Harris County – and 66 tons of carcinogenic benzene, more than any other facility in the United States. The companies must now submit a revised proposal to meet normal pollution control standards under the Clean Air Act – a 95% reduction from the original permit.
March 23, 2022
Office of Secretary Pete Buttigieg
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE Washington, DC 20590
Dear Secretary Buttigieg:
On behalf of the communities of the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast, we write to respectfully request that you and your staff visit our area to see first-hand the disastrous impact that fossil fuel facilities, including a surge of new export facilities, are having on our lives. The health and safety of Gulf Coast families — not to mention the fate of the world’s efforts to combat climate change — are being put at risk so that a handful of fossil fuel executives and shareholders can get rich selling American oil and gas to the highest overseas bidder. Meanwhile, working families who have already been impacted by natural disasters due to climate change, are barely surviving on even tighter budgets to heat their homes and fuel their vehicles.
As Transportation Secretary, you have authority over the Maritime Administration, which is now reviewing requests from U.S. oil and gas exporters to authorize several proposed new offshore export terminals in the Gulf of Mexico. These include Bluewater, Texas Gulflink, Blue Marlin, and the Seaport Oil Terminal (SPOT). It is within the power of the Maritime Administration — and within your power — to reject these authorizations based on the devastating blow that these facilities would deal to our coastal communities, ecosystems, and climate. We urge you to do so — but first, we simply ask that you come and see the devastating impact that the expansion of new export facilities would have on our lives.
We want to believe that the agencies over which you have authority support informed, fair and inclusive permitting and enforcement processes. Unfortunately, the Maritime Administration has excluded many impacted communities, including non-English speakers in our area, from providing meaningful input over these proposed projects. We are also gravely concerned that the reviews may fail to fully take into account the full range of cumulative environmental risks these proposals present. Nonetheless, we’re confident that if you will visit our area, you will appreciate the importance of ensuring a comprehensive review process.
You recently said: “Every transportation decision is a climate decision, whether we acknowledge it or not. So I think that's absolutely part of our mandate and part of our set of responsibilities as a department.” We agree. We urge you to come to the Gulf Coast to fully understand our experience, and to show us, and the world, that your Department of Transportation indeed owns its responsibilities to our communities and planet. Thank you.
John Beard, Port Arthur Community Action Network (Port Arthur, TX)
Melanie Oldham, Citizens for Clean Air and Clean Water in Brazoria County (Freeport, TX)
Elida Castillo, Chispa TX (Corpus Christi, TX)
Love Sanchez & Dorothy Pena, Indigenous Peoples of the Coastal Bend (Corpus Christi, TX)
Juan Parras, TEJAS (Houston, TX)
Frankie Orona, Society of Native Nations (San Antonio, TX - working throughout the Gulf Coast)
Roishetta Sibley Ozane, The Vessel Project of Louisiana (Lake Charles, LA)
Diane Wilson, San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper (Matagorda Bay, TX)
Joanie Steinhaus, Turtle Island Restoration Network (Galveston, TX)
Chloe Torres, Texas Campaign for the Environment (Corpus Christi, TX)
Rebekah Sale, Property Rights and Pipeline Center (working in Texas & Louisiana)
Kristen Schlemmer, Bayou City Waterkeeper (Houston, TX)
Ann Wright, O’ahu Water Protectors (Honolulu, HI)
James Hiatt, Louisiana Bucket Brigade (Lake Charles, LA)
Chrystal Beasley, Earthworks (Houston, TX)
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