Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fromk the Texas Tribune: Houston, and its global petrochemical hub, remain in the eye of the storm

Area state senator Larry Taylor is featured here.

More concerns for the 85th Session.

- Click here for the article.
The waters that make the Houston Ship Channel an important global port and hub of petrochemical activity are the same rising tides that - under the most dire scenarios - could one day cause catastrophe.

To the frustration of many, however, that looming threat of the day when, not if, a powerful storm surge descends on one of Texas' economic engines - ripping above-ground pipes from their fittings, tossing chemical storage tanks like empty soda cans and deluging entire manufacturing plants in brackish salt water - hasn't led to enough political and economic pressure to build what some consider the region's only option for keeping a hurricane from sweeping billions of dollars of Houston investment into the sea.

"We are eight years since Hurricane Ike… and we still don't have that one plan," said State Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, referencing the last hurricane to wreak havoc across the Houston area. "That's troubling, but we're making progress... We will need it. It is not a matter of thinking it may happen some day, it will happen."

With the nation focused on Hurricane Matthew as it continues its march up the East Coast this weekend, some observers have noted Houston's massive role in world energy production and its exposure to storms that are increasing in intensity make it one of the most at-risk spots where devastation could not only claim local lives and structures, but send shockwaves through the economy.

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