Driving in Port Arthur

May 09, 2014


I drove around my city this morning. I stopped on the seawall to watch the ships traveling through the ship channel. As they leave they pass the largest oil refinery in North America, Motiva. This one facility processes up to 600,000 barrels of oil per day. As I left the ship channel I drove through downtown Port Arthur, past Lamar State College, the Seafarer’s Center and the building being restored by the Economic Development Council. If we can agree on a lease the chamber will move into the third floor of that building. We will be a few hundred yards from City Hall, Police Station and the EDC will be on the bottom floor.

I traveled over the Martin Luther King Bridge to Pleasure Island. The last part was of the trip served two purposes. First I took a short glimpse at the new Marina and Pleasure Island Golf Course. Both were devastated in the last hurricane. The chamber will attend the official ribbon cutting on both of these facilities in the near future. The second reason I was visiting Pleasure Island was to check out the fishing. I parked at a local hot spot for about 20 minutes and saw two Flounder and a Redfish landed.

On the route back a passed the Chevron-Phillips and Valero Refineries. This city, as with all old cities, has it problems, but without us and the other cities on the Gulf Coast a lot of people in the world would be walking and using animal skins for clothing. Without the products to kill insects it would be impossible to feed us and the world. Most people think of gasoline when they think of oil but almost everything in your house starts with oil or natural gas. Even some of the medicines that keep you alive start here.

I know it is not new and has been written about for thousands of years but when you are near any body of salt water you can feel life. While I wouldn’t want to live on the beach, every visit I can feel the energy of the sea. As I smoke my cigar I see the smoke drift out, get blown around and disappear, just like we will one day. We are here; we get blown around and, in the end, disappear and become part of from what we came.

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