BRUNI, Texas, Dec. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Last year, on November 21, 2016, Raven Petroleum announced plans to build the South Texas Energy Complex, an oil refinery near Laredo, Texas, between the towns of Bruni and Hebbronville.
Raven repeatedly claimed their 50,000-barrel per day refinery would be under construction in 2017 and operational in 2018. A year after the initial announcement, however, Raven has yet to even file a permit application with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). A permit is necessary for construction and the process can take two years, considering revisions and a likely contested case hearing.
"I'm not sure if Raven originally had potential investors but failed to close a deal," said Tricia Cortez, STAR Coalition member and Executive Director of the Rio Grande International Study Center. "Or if they were trying to make folks believe they had investors with the hope one would eventually appear. Either way, it's clear Raven did not think through this proposal."
The project faced ongoing pushback throughout 2017 because of local concerns, including environmental risks, safety issues, and economic viability. The proposed refinery location is four miles downwind from Bruni Middle School and Bruni High School, placing both within the refinery's impact zone. Moreover, a major accident, such as a derailment or petrochemical fire, could overwhelm local emergency responders, possibly damaging our communities for generations.
An economic analysis released by STAR and prepared by Daniel J. Pastor, assistant professor of economics from the University of Texas at El Paso, estimated the total cost of the project at $1.9 billion, nearly four times the $500 million Raven estimate. The report also concluded that 126 permanent jobs could be created if the refinery becomes operational, not the 350 permanent jobs claimed by Raven.
The STAR Coalition will remain vigilant throughout 2018 and continue to communicate with the community on important developments related to the proposed refinery.
About South Texans Against the Refinery (STAR): STAR is a coalition of residents, ranchers, landowners, environmentalists, local officials, and organizations concerned that Raven's proposed oil refinery in the tri-county area (Duval, Webb, and Jim Hogg counties) will cause harmful air pollution, threaten local water supplies, and disrupt area wildlife for generations.
Phone: (956) 718-1063
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SOURCE South Texans Against the Refinery