Center for Biological Diversity Misleads Texas Regulators with Ethane Cracker Comments

Monday, May 14, 2018

Texans for Natural Gas | May 14, 2018

An Arizona-based environmental group recently submitted comments to Texas regulators in opposition to a new ethane cracker proposed for San Patricio County. The group claimed all of the comments came from Texas residents, but hundreds of them were signed by people outside the state, according to a review by Texans for Natural Gas.

On May 8, 2018, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed more than 1,100 comments with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), expressing opposition to Gulf Coast Growth Ventures, a proposed ethane cracker that would create 6,000 jobs during construction. CBD issued a press release about the comments the next day.

“The Center for Biological Diversity and more than 1,100 Texas residents are demanding that Texas regulators reconsider issuing a wastewater permit to a project that would be the world’s largest plastics plant,” according to CBD’s press release. CBD specified that “over 1,148 Texas residents” supported their petition.

But according to the comments file that Texans for Natural Gas obtained from TCEQ’s website, these were not all Texas residents.

The first comment is signed by a resident of Marietta, Ga., and the second comment was signed by a resident of New York, one of at least 19 comments that came from the Empire State.

From California, CBD pulled 35 comments. From Florida, 14 comments. Nine people from Hawaii even commented.

All told, over 200 comments came from outside the state of Texas, contrary to CBD’s claim that they were all “Texas residents.”

There also appear to be data quality issues with CBD’s petition.

For example, several names are listed more than once. New York resident Peter Wood submitted the same comment twice. So did Judy Terwilliger from Saint Petersburg, Fla.; Grace Strong from Ironwood, Mich.; and Peter Clark from the city of Bend in Oregon. A commenter from Tucson, where CBD is headquartered, also submitted the form multiple times.

Last week, Texans for Natural Gas identified how Portland Citizens United, the organization leading the opposition to the ethane cracker, has repeatedly made false claims or used deceptive imagery in its online advocacy. That report also detailed how major environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club, are helping PCU behind the scenes, including hundreds of thousands of dollars earmarked for litigation.

Coastal Bend residents who support the ethane cracker can make sure their voices are heard by clicking here.