The US Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation has approved Enterprise’s Sea Port Oil Terminal’s proposal to build a huge Gulf oil terminal.
Despite the president’s previous remarks on the use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions, the Biden administration has discreetly approved plans to construct a new crude oil port in the Gulf of Mexico off Texas.
One of four proposed offshore oil export terminals, Enterprise’s Sea Port Oil Terminal’s proposal (pdf below) was authorised on Monday by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) of the Department of Transportation.
The port will be located off the coast of Freeport, Texas, according to the application. It will increase the United States’ daily oil export capability by 2 million barrels and have a storage capacity of 4.8 million barrels.
The decision was made in the midst of a nationwide increase in energy costs that many have attributed on Biden’s unfavourable domestic energy policy.
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The reason for the approval, according to MARAD’s 94-page decision, is that the port’s development and operation are “in the national interest and consistent with other policy goals and objectives.”
“The construction and operation of the Port is in the national interest because the Project will benefit employment, economic growth, and U.S. energy infrastructure resilience and security,” the administration wrote. “The Port will provide a reliable source of crude oil to U.S. allies in the event of market disruption and have a minimal impact on the availability and cost of crude oil in the U.S. domestic market.”
According to the statement, fossil fuels will be exported through the port for use in other countries.
Protests Over Planned Oil Terminal
According to the decision, the project will enlarge a Houston terminal currently run by Enterprise Crude Houston and create 62 permanent jobs over a 30-year period. According to the application, 1,400 temporary construction jobs will also be produced, with the majority of the workforce coming from labour pools in Texas and Louisiana that already have workers.
In a 890-page impact statement published in July, MARAD claimed that oil processed at SPOT would result in 233 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in annual greenhouse gas emissions.
However, it underlined that “more emphasis is needed to ensure that environmental justice and climate change issues are included in the project for the protection of the environment” when it discreetly provided its own approval of the project in October.
Shortly after, protests broke out on the Gulf Coast, according to The Texas Tribune. Some activists criticized the decision and cited the fact that President Joe Biden has placed a priority on problems like climate change and incentives for renewable energy during his tenure in office.
The modern world is heavily dependent on fossil fuels, from which the United States derives two-thirds of its energy, and Biden has committed to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.
He scrapped the Keystone pipeline, which had been restored by former President Donald Trump and was planned to bring in some 800,000 barrels of oil everyday.
Many Republican leaders think his actions are to blame for the high prices and shortage of energy.
‘Peak Hypocrisy for President Biden’
Although this was the case, Greenpeace quickly criticised the Biden administration’s choice to build the new oil terminal, claiming that it would “emit over 300 million tons of carbon every year polluting the air and water of Brazoria and Harris counties in Texas while creating serious health threats for everyone living there.”
“It is peak hypocrisy for President Biden and Secretary [of Transportation] Pete Buttigieg to shorten the fuse on the world’s largest carbon bomb by greenlighting additional oil export terminals right after lecturing the world about increasing climate ambitions at COP27,” the independent global campaigning network added.
“This approval seems particularly tone-deaf just days after COP27 wraps with the U.S. theoretically championing a phaseout of all fossil fuels,” said Collin Rees, U.S. program manager with Oil Change International.
The U.S. economy suffers a $100 billion annual loss as a result of Biden’s anti-fossil fuel policies, according to a recent study by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity.
The study also discovered that under previous President Donald Trump’s policies, the United States would produce between 2 and 3 million more barrels of oil per day and between 20 and 25 more billion cubic feet of natural gas.
According to officials, the approval of the Sea Port Oil Terminal would make it easier to safely and effectively load large crude carriers for lengthy periods of time while also lowering the price of oil transportation and lowering the risk of ship accidents, among other things.
“Compared to facilities and processes used today, this project will create a safer, more efficient mechanism for exporting oil, and will play a key role in facilitating U.S. energy security,” a Maritime Administration spokesperson said in a statement to The Texas Tribune.
In an email, a MARAD spokesperson stated that the organisation is “working with the U.S. Coast Guard and, in consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal, state, and local agencies, recently issued a Record of Decision, with conditions, for the SPOT Terminal Services LLC (SPOT) application to own, construct, operate, and eventually decommission a deepwater port facility.”
“Compared to facilities and processes used today, this project will create a safer, more efficient mechanism for exporting oil, and will play a key role in facilitating U.S. energy security as the nation works towards a cleaner energy future,” it said. “The project will create new construction jobs. SPOT must comply with all state and federal permitting, mitigation, and related requirements outlined in the ROD before beginning construction.”
Read the report given below: