The local corporate cabal just won almost every single seat in our City Council election - it is very scary. There's a run-off in one district and updated election results show that it includes the incumbent, Priscilla Leal, who is the only person who has shown any concern at all about plans to build a coal-burning petroleum coke plant on our port - and to build it without the gasification technology that could significantly cut down on the pollution. It's bad enough that the city is even considering a petroleum coke plant at all instead of some good clean energy technology to create real jobs for this century, but it is unacceptable without gasification. Unacceptable.
We are already a city with many refineries but this plant, called Las Brisas, would create more pollution than all of those sources put together. Every person who won seems just fine with adding that much pollution to our air and our bay - it will bring jobs, they say!
It will also bring us into non-attainment of clean air standards, though, which will bring major fines. And since clean air standards are bound to get higher than they were under President Bush, it is not actually true that using the gasification technology is not economically viable as they try to say. Their old way of doing business is about to become very not economically viable, but they can't see that. And they don't care about my daughter and all the other children in this town who have allergies and asthma and need cleaner air, not more polluted air. My daughter's allergist, who seems generally to be a rather wealthy and conservative business man, has been one of the leading protesters against this plant being built. The Nueces County Medical Society is against it as well. These City Council pirates, however, say that we should just let the state decide what constitutes unacceptable pollution and build the plant if the state will permit it. I say that no one that irresponsible has any business in public office.
One of the men who got elected is married to a woman who is doing PR work for the company that is trying to build the plant. I would call that a conflict of interest. And get this - she is the president of the school board. I call that a crime. How dare she? So many of our school children already struggle with missed days of school due to asthma...she has no business claiming to care about education when she is simultaneously trying to do something that will steal the health that children need to learn.
This is a very bad day for Corpus Christi. But they are not going to build that plant in my town without gasification. Mark my words. They are not.