Texas economy

The Green New Deal threatens the Texas economy

A month ago, Corpus Christi Port Authority Commission Chairman Charlie Zahn Jr. said that by the end of the year, the port will surpass its 2020 record of $630 million. barrels. He went on to say that the Port of Corpus Christi is the largest port in the United States by total revenue tonnage and the nation’s top energy export gateway.

Over the past 10 years, Corpus Christi has experienced an economic boom, with energy companies building new operations or expanding existing ones. In fact, according to the Texas Economic Development Council, “more than $55 billion in new business investment was announced between 2009 and 2019.” This is mainly due to port expansion and increased power generation in the Lone Star State.

The port depends on the production of energy and its movement of goods, and therefore, the economy of Corpus Christi depends on the port. As Zahn points out in a recent Corpus Christi Caller-Times article, “there are approximately 98,000 jobs related to or impacted by the Port of Corpus Christi in the region, representing approximately one-third of the workforce of metropolitan area”.

“The port also has an estimated economic impact of $3 billion for the Corpus Christi region, as well as $19 billion for the state of Texas and $150 billion for the nation,” he wrote.

But there is a movement at the national level that could threaten the Corpus Christi economy. The Green New Deal aims to phase out fossil fuels, an extreme move that would jeopardize hundreds of thousands of jobs. While working to improve our environment is a practical goal we all share, it should not come at the expense of livelihoods. And it is not necessary.

That’s why I’m proud to be a board member of the Carbon Neutral Coalition, or CNC. We strive to preserve the backbone of Texas’ economy while safeguarding our environmental future. The coalition seeks to establish the infrastructure that will incentivize the energy industry to reduce its carbon emissions using underground carbon capture and storage. We work with existing oil, gas, and energy companies, as well as many other stakeholders, to advocate for the state to put in place the regulatory framework necessary to create this infrastructure.

Not only would this lead to a cleaner environment and continued growth in the energy industry, but it would also open up another sector of our economy. By allowing landowners, such as farmers and ranchers, to offer their land in exchange for a fee, the agricultural industry would have a new source of revenue leading to even greater prosperity while finding uses additional and cost-effective carbon.

Doing nothing will lead to policies aimed at destroying the fossil fuel industry as we know it. It is already leading to a reduction in oil and gas investments. A recent Bloomberg article pointed out that “funds dedicated to renewable energy exceeded 25 times the funds dedicated to fossil fuels”.

CNC is dedicated to preserving the lifeblood of the economies of Corpus Christi and Texas. We cannot allow sweeping policies to be implemented at the federal level that harm Texas. Rather, we should create the right economic, regulatory, and legal structure in Texas so that our state and our community remain a beacon for the rest of America.

Sean C. Strawbridge is CEO of the Port of Corpus Christi.