Legislative Agenda

Dec 18, 2020

Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce

2021-22 Legislative Agenda

This is Southeast Texas, and these facts are why we need an organization like Texas 2036!  This organization makes decision based on factual date!

and our impact on the state’s and national economy:

Southeast Texas, which includes Jefferson and Orange counties, is a major player in the economy of both Texas and the US.  The country’s energy independence begins and ends in our backyard.

It’s tough to live in the shadow of your pretty big sister, which is the story of the area of southeast Texas known locally as the Golden Triangle, and by extension, the Sabine-Neches Waterway.  It means that you have to work harder and do it better, just to get noticed.  The area today is doing just that.

Since the first major new facility in the area was constructed in 2003, the area has seen continued significant growth in both the refining and petrochemicals businesses.  Additionally, it has become a major hub for storage and export of crude oil, condensate, and refined transportation fuels, as well as LNG and renewable fuels.  Today, the area and Sabine-Neches Waterway can claim the following as a partial list of its growth and importance to the Texas and US economies:

            1.  Home to the largest single refinery in the US.

            2.  Home to the largest methanol facility in the US.

            3.  Home to four major refineries, with a total throughput capacity of 1.671 MM barrels    per day, 8.8 percent of 2019 US refining capacity, but importantly 13 percent of transportation fuels-gasoline, diesel and jet fuel per the Energy Information Agency(EIA).

            4.  Home to over 35 chemical and petrochemical facilities.

            5.  Home to the largest single owner crude terminal in the US, as well as one of the largest single owner refined products and transportation fuels terminals.

            6.  Home to the Dept. of Energy Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) intake facility for both the Big Hill and West Hackberry storage facilities, which account for 57% of the nation’s crude oil strategic reserve, approximately 400 MM barrels.

            7.  Home to the largest LNG exporter in the US, with two additional major facilities either being converted to export capability are under construction.

            8.  The Sabine-Neches Waterway is the # 1 liquid bulk cargo waterway in the US.

            9.  The area is an Origin for 3 major petroleum products pipelines; supplying by pipeline the entire eastern and mid-continental US (except New England) with transportation and home heating fuels.

Jointly, the Sabine-Neches Waterway; comprised of the Ports of Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Sabine Pass in Jefferson County and the Port of Orange in Orange County, operate as the 3rd largest port/waterway complex in the nation in terms of tonnage and is home to two Strategic Military Ports that function as the nation’s #1 commercial military out-load port.  Export revenue for the waterway was $30.2 billion in 2018.  The projections for 2026 are $73.1 billion, which is in keeping with expected increases in petroleum exports forecast for the entire Gulf Coast area refineries and petrochemical facilities.

 

The completed projects and proposed expansions already identified will make the area even more important in the future.  It could not have been done without the complete joint effort cooperation and “can-do” attitude of private industry, the public ports, Texas state, local municipal and county governments, Texas and Federal regulatory agencies, the Sabine-Neches Navigation District, the Sabine Pilots Association and the South East Texas Waterway Advisory Council (SETWAC), a US Coast Guard sponsored local industry advisory council to the Captain of the Port for the area. 

 

Unlike her big sister to the west, the Sabine-Neches Waterway and Golden Triangle cities and counties have ample expansion capabilities along our waterway.  Opportunity identification and cooperation to safely achieve expansion goals has long been a strong suit of the area public and private entities.  A perfect example is now the approved $1.4 billion waterway deepening and improvement project that will eliminate most constraints on waterway traffic.  With those constraints lifted, vessel capacity expansion of up to 25% is both feasible and likely, given the history of private and public cooperation since 2003.  This increase in waterway vessel capacity will correlate to an even greater increase in waterway tonnage.

KEY TAKEAWAY DATA FOR OUR STATEMENT OF ECONOMIC IMPACT

  • $54 billion in announced and proposed industrial projects along the Sabine-Neches Waterway in SETX.
  • Currently SETX represents 1.53% of GDP, 5.9% of the manufacturing GDP and 1.52% of labor force.
    • Texas is ranked 2nd in the US for waterborne commerce. The Sabine-Neches Waterway handles 22% of Texas’s cargo and 4.7% of the US cargo total. This generates $5 billion in state and local revenue and $9 billion in federal revenue annually.
    • Texas represents 30% of the US refining capacity and SETX represents 26.5% of Texas refining capacity.
    • Texas governmental expenditures for all counties is $98.3 billion with SETX receiving less than 1% with only $995.8 million.  The current allocation of funds fails to represent SETX 1.53% of the GDP by over 30%.  This is without counting the $54 billion in expansion projects thereby increasing the state’s revenue and tax base proportionally.

 

WE HAVE A RARE OPPORTUNITY FOR SOUTHEAST TEXAS TO BECOME A CRITICAL PART OF OUR STATE AND NATIONAL REEMERGENCE FROM OUR COVID ERA ECONOMY.  TO DO THAT WE WILL NEED THE SUPPORT OF THE STATE AND OUR LEGISLATURE. WE MUST ENSURE OUR INFRASTRUCTURE IS ADEQUATE TO SUPPORT PRIVATE ENTERPRISE AND THE ANTICIPATED GROWTH.  SEED MONEY MUST ALSO BE INVESTED BY THE STATE ALONG THE SNWW TO ALLOW IT TO BENEFIT FROM THE FEDERAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS.  THIS IS IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT THERE IS NOT ONLY A GUARANTEED RATE OF RETURN IN ADDITION TO THE INCREASED TAX BASE FOR THE STATE.  AFTERALL OUR INFRASTRUCTURE GUARANTEE AND OUR UNDERLYING FINANCIAL SUPPORT IS ONE OF THE MOST SUBSTANTIVE OFFERINGS THAT WE CAN GIVE INDUSTRY WHEN COMPARED WITH OTHER COASTAL STATES IN THE REGION.  TO FOLLOW IS A LIST OF ITEMS THAT WE NEED TO HAVE ADDRESSED BY THE LEGISLATURE IN VARIOUS CAPACITIES.  TOGETHER WE CAN HELP ENSURE TEXAS’ FUTURE IS DIVERSE AND SUCCESSFUL.

 

Pat Avery

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