Few Local Benefits
These jobs are not for locals
The permanent jobs associated with the LNG export terminals will likely be high-trained positions and not locally hired. Managers of the companies mention the need for "experienced labor." At least one of the LNG companies is proposing a "plug and play" system in which the LNG equipment is built overseas and transported to Brownsville on a barge. This would, according to the fact sheet, "minimize impact" to labor markets.
An explanation of how the liquefaction plant will be constructed overseas and shipped to the Port of Brownsville site from a May 2014 Texas LNG slide show
Rio Grande LNG Jobs: Only 200 permanent jobs for 1,000 acres of leased land.
Only required to hire 35% local residents. Local residents are defined as individuals who have lived 6 months or more within 100 miles of the worksite.
Approximately 200 permanent jobs at full operational capacity (70 local).
Construction: 6,600 (2,310 local) split between all construction phases. Peak construction jobs of 2,250 (787 local) will be during the first construction phase (trains 1 and 2).
Rio Grande will only start with operations with 2 out of the 6 trains (1/3 operating capacity; which equates to 23 "permanent operational" jobs to local citizens).
Texas LNG: updates coming soon
Annova LNG: updates coming soon
A speculative industry with an unreliable future
Because natural gas costs so much to extract, refine, liquefy, transport and then regasify, U.S. LNG exports are only profitable if gas prices outside the U.S. are very high. When prices in Asia or in Europe are low due to OPEC's actions or to mild weather, profit margins are simply too low to sustain U.S. exports. Many market analysts, including Moody's Investor Services, have predicted that few planned U.S. LNG export terminals will ever be built. Many also note that the LNG market is likely to remain volatile and could be glutted for years. The LNG projects in the Port of Brownsville could very well tie the Rio Grande Valley to the boom-bust fossil fuel economy and saddle us with higher unemployment and abandoned industrial sites.
The LNG companies will not pay their fair share
See our Tax Abatements page for more info!
Rio Grande LNG received a $373,100,000 tax abatement in September of 2016. They will make payments in lieu of taxes that will equate to only 23% of what they would pay in taxes. As a part of the deal, they only have to hire 35% locally.
Annova LNG applied for a tax abatement in April, 2015 with Cameron County. It was tabled and could likely come back to be approved.
Texas LNG has yet to apply for a tax abatement