Letter to Editor:
There have been plenty of misconceptions and paranoia about the recent proposal of the Raven Refinery that is planned in Duval County near the Bruni and the Hebbronville area.
First, allow me to explain my personal experience. I have worked in the area’s oil and gas industries and with three uranium companies in the 1970s and 1980s. I also worked for a safety company during the 2011-2012 Eagle Ford boom in Kenedy.
Recently, many people have been influenced against the half a billon dollar refinery with innuendoes of health and environmental concerns. Well, let’s discuss the facts.
There has not been any new oil and gas refinery built in the USA since 1978 (Louisiana). South Texas’ citizens should be happy for this valuable economic and job opportunity boom. Trust me, there are other cities and towns in Texas or states that can easily accept a refinery.
Another fact is that for almost a century, the oil and gas industries have given South Texas financial benefits. This includes the area where the Raven Refinery has been proposed which also once had thriving uranium fields. Yet, people are confused with the negative TV ads, circulating pamphlets and highway signs against the refinery.
The good news is that the USA is becoming more independent by utilizing its own energy resources and needs new refineries to wean itself from foreign oil.
One example of countries that have a lack of refineries is Mexico. It needs energy fuels because its supply is not meeting its vast expanding demand. Mexico does not have the technology or the extra facilities to provide enough fuel to its customers because fuel demands far exceed available supplies. This has caused gas prices to increase to the dismay of its citizens.
The USA has vastly improved its oil and gas exploration and production that have kept steady gas prices. Hence, the Texas border refinery with its vast inland pipelines makes perfect economic sense for both countries.
Also, Texas’ border counties have held yearly records of double-digit unemployment. We, South Texans have been criticized by northern cities as lazy and unwilling to work. We all know that this is not true. It was the lack of business and job opportunities that have given our area double-digit unemployment.
You and I know our American ancestors and families have struggled and with determination and unity, we have succeeded or survived through hard work and education. So, let’s not allow this gigantic economic opportunity of a refinery to get away.
Secondly, the Raven Refinery will be built with the latest safety technology and environmentally friendly geothermal energy. Many are calling it “The Cleanest Refinery Model in the World.”
Most importantly, there are many South Texas oil and gas refineries that for decades have not caused serious health or environmental problems.
Three Rivers’ refinery is situated right next to the town. Bishop has the Celanese Refinery that’s close to town and Corpus Christi refineries sit along IH 37 close to Calallen schools.
Political paranoia spread by a few is getting in the way of South Texas opportunities and economic expansion. South Texans should think of Raven Refinery’s half a billion dollars is an enormous economic opportunity that will benefit thousands of people with jobs and their families in Texas for many decades. This border refinery will also give the area’s unemployed oil field workers an excellent chance to get back to work.
The influx of other related businesses investments will also provide families a better standard of living.
Many jobs will filter into South Texas such as construction contractors, welders, pipefitters, day laborers, railroad builders and other related contractors. These workers will fill up the area’s hotels and restaurants while continuing to expand the economy at convenience stores, gas stations, tire stores, hardware stores, property rentals and numerous other businesses.
After the refinery is completed, the refinery’s demands of goods and services will continue in the area. Think of the transporters of materials, maintenance of oil and gas railroad cars, pipeline construction and safety maintenance that will certainly spin the wheel of our area economy.
Also, any member of your family or friend could qualify to permanently work at this refinery with full benefits such as health insurance and pension or permanently work with companies that continually service the refinery.
We all must think positively that Raven Refinery will be safe, facilitate thousands of job opportunities, help current businesses and even open new businesses in several South Texas counties. Everybody wins with the Raven Refinery being built in Duval County. Onward/Para Adelante Amigos!
Ramiro R. J. Molina