Los Fresnos News

Bringing LNG Industry to the Valley Would Benefit Families

Dear Editor,

Life in the Rio Grande Valley can be so nice with friends and family. Unfortunately, workers in the industrial technology field sometimes face the difficult decision to travel for their occupation as wages outside the valley are generally much higher and jobs more abundant. With low wages and a shortage of jobs in the Rio Grande Valley, many workers travel for months to gain better salaries just to support their families back home. These long distance relationships can take a toll on the worker’s life and family. Thus, the overall quality of time shared with family and loved ones is negatively impacted and is sometimes jeopardized.

Important events and even smaller priceless events in life are missed and can seldom or never be brought back, nor rescheduled. From personal experience, I was that worker who had to take a better job out-of-town to better support my family, but I missed my children and it negatively affected them every time I had to leave.

I also come from a family of shrimpers who built their livelihoods around that noble profession but that was not enough to provide for my family. So to be close to my loved ones, I am now spending time as a fishing guide in the lower Laguna Madre area.

But now there is finally hope and opportunity for our children to have better, and they don’t have to leave the area or settle for only working in low wage jobs that barely allow families to survive. That hope and opportunity for a better Rio Grande Valley through natural resources is possible with the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities at the Port of Brownsville.

An LNG facility should not be mistaken for an oil refinery, chemical plant or an oil drilling facility. An LNG facility is so much more compact and efficient than one would ascertain. Industry safety procedures during construction and operations ensure safe, reliable operations. Protocols, daily safety meetings, and job safety analysis are a high priority throughout the construction and maintenance of these facilities. I know this because I’ve seen them up close and have done my own research.

A great future for our children and businesses is on its way and will bring massive economic growth and revenues to our Rio Grande Valley area. Please help support and be a part of the Rio Grande LNG project for a much needed opportunity for economic growth and prosperity for our community but mostly a better future for our children and their children’s children.

James Montelongo
South Padre Island