How A New Energy Facility In Port Arthur Could Export Security To Poland

Thu, September 20, 2018

The road to full recovery for Port Arthur will be long. But there's something happening there right now that will not only help a community get back on its feet, but add to the booming Texas economy while potentially reshaping global politics.

Sempra Energy has proposed a facility in Port Arthur to export liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is expected to create as many as 3,500 construction jobs at the peak of construction and to eventually employ at least 100 people to operate and maintain the facility. The Port Arthur LNG project could also reduce the U.S. trade deficit by $5.3 billion per year. 

The two of us have worked together closely, along with Sen. John Cornyn, Rep. Randy Weber and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, to expedite approvals for the Port Arthur project. And, by removing the bureaucratic barriers that were unnecessarily delaying the project, we were able to facilitate thousands of new jobs that will help the Port Arthur community continue to rebuild from Hurricane Harvey.

If there were nothing more to this story, it would be an amazing opportunity for a storm-ravaged community. But this is not just another multibillion-dollar export facility. The proposed Port Arthur LNG project will be a critical fuel supplier for one of America's strongest European allies.

In June, Port Arthur LNG and the Polish Oil & Gas Company (PGNiG) announced the start of a relationship that could result in the delivery of more than 100 billion cubic feet of U.S. natural gas per year to Poland, which has made a push for energy security and independence from Russia.

The agreement between Poland and Port Arthur LNG is not simply a business opportunity: it represents a critical aspect of our two countries' continuing strategic alliance.

For more than 70 years, Russia has been the dominant fuel supplier to Poland, accounting in recent years for nearly two-thirds of the country's natural gas and three-fourths of its oil. But Poland recently announced a new plan to determine its own energy future, a plan that hinges upon reliable and affordable supplies of LNG from the U.S.

As the Polish Secretary of State for International Dialogue recently wrote, southeast Texas "has become Poland's partner in developing a new energy security for all of Europe."

This is the real story of America's shale energy revolution. Our newfound abundance of oil and natural gas has changed how we produce, consume and even think about energy in America. But thanks to projects like Port Arthur LNG, we're now able to export that new paradigm of energy security to the rest of the world.

This new paradigm extends far beyond Eastern Europe. Growing natural gas markets in places like South Korea and India are providing opportunities for the U.S. to expand exports and promote peace the world over.

America has long been a beacon for democracy and freedom, at home and abroad. Today, with the help of the people of Port Arthur, the United States can provide security for our allies through our economic strength, in addition to our exceptional military.

Port Arthur is a community that appreciates that energy exports add up to more than dollars and cents. And Texas understands that the tankers shipping out of the Gulf of Mexico are ultimately delivering hope to other families around the world.

A year ago, hope was in short supply for many people in Port Arthur. Today, Port Arthur has Texas' and the world's ultimate vote of confidence in its future.