South Texas strives to be major exporter for natural gas

News Center 23

POSTED: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 4:41pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 8:20am

"For the first time in our recent history of the United States, could be very energy independent for oil and natural gas," said US Congressman Gene Green.

South Texas is striving to make a name for itself as one of the nation's top regions to export natural gas.

Plans are already in the works to implement Brownsville's first liquefied natural gas, or "LNG" plant within the next couple years.

But officials are also suggesting another method to make the Port of Brownsville a good area to help supply the world's demand for natural gas: dredging the Brownsville Ship Channel.

"We have to as a region assess very carefully why it's important to deepen the Port of Brownsville channel from 42 feet to 52 feet," said US Congressman Filemon Vela.

But what difference can dredging ten feet make?

"The rigs that AmFels will be working on in the future maybe too large to fit into the port of Brownsville," said Vela.

"If the new energy law from Mexico produces natural gas that they can't use in Mexico then the Port of Brownsville would be ideal to export that to other parts of the world," said Green.

"It improves the economies of scale of international shipping," said Rice University public policy expert Dr. George Baker.

But in addition to helping out the local economy, exporting natural gas and having nearby energy facilities will serve as an environmental advantage.

"Helps on our utility bills, helps on our environment, burning natural gas, to create energy; it's more environmentally friendly than the cole," said Green.

The socioeconomic benefits will not only have an impact on Brownsville, but also the United States a whole.

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