Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Jorge Lerma About LNG: "It's a Done Deal!" Joseph Cantu About the 600 Construction Jobs Promised: "They Will Not Go to Locals"

Jorge Lerma
From the editor:  Our friend, firefighter, union leader, political activist, Jorge Lerma, commented on one of our stories about LNG posted on Facebook as below. He sees the inevitability of the pollution-heavy, dangerous "plants" that will utilize tremendous amounts of energy to convert natural gas into a liquid, 1/600 of its original volume to make shipping economical. Obviously, transporting on one vessel, as opposed to six hundred, greatly adds to the bottom line.  Please read Mr. Lerma's comments below.

Actually, once the good old boys of the Port of Brownsville signed the leases for the three LNG plants, the deal was likely done.   Did those commissioners even understand at that point what was involved in the LNG process?  Likely not.  They were patting themselves on the back for adding industry to the port.

Did they realize these plants would spew hundreds of millions of tons of hot effluent into the cleanest estuaries in the United States, release mercury, hydrogen sulfide, helium, carbon dioxide and other impurities just downwind from the state's most popular beach?  Of course not.  They were merely signing leases, adding to their industrial base.

Joseph Cantu
Joseph Cantu, a martial arts instructor in South Padre Island and Port Isabel, added an interesting comment below about the way construction jobs and contracts are dispersed by LNG companies.  Remember, Dave Glessner of Texas LNG, promised "600 construction jobs for 3 years and 80 permanent staff." As Cantu explains below, LNG firms look for construction firms familiar with their specs, needs and skill sets.  These firms won't advertise in the Brownsville Herald or the Bargain Book for skilled workers, but simply bring their own crews.

As for the permanent crew of 80, consider that LNG plants are complicated, dangerous and extremely safety conscious.  They hire those experienced in LNG, not unemployed or underemployed fold off the street.  

From Facebook:

Jorge Lerma:  YES. It is a done deal. They know they can get away with it in a low income area. The masses are worried about their next meal and not the well being of their grandchildren.

Jim Barton:  Of course, you're correct. Those who spoke out for LNG all mentioned the need for jobs. What I've learned about LNG employment is that, because of safety concerns, they tend to hire employees with LNG experience. While Dave Glessner of Texas LNG said they would look to hire locals, I'm not convinced the higher salary positions aren't filled by transplants. What I'm saying is that the extreme need for locals to find substantial employment may not be helped much by LNG. Landscaping, janitorial, security and secretarial, yes, but, the so-called higher skill sets may be filled by outsiders.

Jorge Lerma:  You are preaching to the choir. I am completely for protecting the environment at all costs. I have lost my faith in this area having any legitimacy in the political process. The average voter should be taking a flamethrower to some of the political rats that have taken advantage of our community.

Joseph Cantu:   I was there last night. I spoke to ch 4 and asked Dave Glessner a few questions at the mic. As someone who has actually opened a brand spanking new plant on the houston ship channel i am fully aware of the thousands of voc emission points in the entire plan process including piping, compressors and pumps etc. I was also responsible for permitting the 100s of contructions crew members work. I saw them start with 400 at construction, then down to 200 in 6 months then 50 then none. Those are the jobs they are bragging about but even those will go to same old companies who are familiar with this work like Austin Industrial, Brn & Rt, Zachary, the newer const companies, etc etc. A friend of mine was privy to talking with lng leadership a few years back. One thing i remember him overhearing was this: " if we cant do it here then we will go to south texas where the politicians are cheap, the land is cheap and the labor even cheaper." That's environmental racism but hey if you're a sonso you dont know your a sonso.

Odds and ends from the air quality forum for Texas LNG at the Brownsville Historical Museum, 10/12/16:

David Glassner said Texas LNG would create
600 construction jobs for 3 years and 80 permanent staff."  He claims the "average salary" to be $70,000."  He is proud that his company will reduce worldwide emissions by reducing the dependence on coal.

Glassner stated that Texas LNG will be powered by electric motors, not gas turbines, greatly reducing emissions.  He even hinted the may look for alternate energy sources like wind.

He stated that Texas LNG will institute a program calling for leak inspections every three months at the plant.

Several commenters at the hearing stated they represented the Sierra Club.  One of their concerns was the need for a cumulative impact study, combining the emissions from all three LNG plants, added to the other pollution in this area. The TCEQ, that is, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, only considers emissions from the plant currently making application, in this case, Texas LNG.

Joseph Cantu had questions about flaring, the process of burning off gases and contaminents during the compression process. Dave Glassner of Texas LNG claims that flaring occurs perhaps "seven days per year."  Other sources indicate it occurs much more frequently. Glassner admitted that "excessive pressure goes to flaring" and that it normally takes "16-24 hours" to remove the CO2 from a batch of natural gas, necessitating flaring. 

Port Isabel City Manager Jared Hockema asked about "nonattainment expenses," that is fines from the EPA for not meeting air quality standards.  He was also concerned about construction and diesel dust and pollution associated with construction, noting that "Highway 48 has a dust problem currently."


  1. The LNG companies have signed agreements to lease and not the actual leases at the port of Brownsville. It is not yet a done deal.

    1. Once again the leadership at the port has failed us, the taxpayers. They just recently stuck us with a $21 million tab for a bridge that doesn't exist and now they're hell bent on destroying our breathing air and environment and the beaches and water that create tourism jobs? Why do keep electing these corrupt people who are in it for their own gain and don't give a shit about the common person. This has to stop. Why are these slash and burn LNG people even here. Who invited these serpents into our garden?



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