LETTERS: On new Hidalgo Co. courthouse and RGV environment

New county courthouse

I read with great interest the recent Monitor article on the kind offer of free land just off of I-69 as an alternative location for the new Hidalgo County courthouse to be built. The area is rapidly and conveniently accessed from all corners of Hidalgo County. I was wondering during the April 3 Hidalgo County Drainage District meeting, of which the board is the same as Hidalgo County Commissioners, if bad-mouthing, at the most, or discounting, at the least, the allegedly, tired, old, discounted free land offer of 20 acres by businessman Kent Burns may appear to some as a conflict of interest?

Some would say that any ownership of any adjacent business, like a law office that is only a hop, skip and a jump over the University Drive puddle flooding after a rain event, should cause commissioners to recuse themselves from any vote. This would allow for better information to the public on any alternatives for the new courthouse, such as “free” land, in the event that such activity may possibly appear to some as a conflict of interest.

I am sure Mr. Burns would agree to an interview accompanied by his interesting offer for all to transparently partake of in print in this, our land of the free.

K.C. Fletcher, Pharr

Supporting LNG in RGV

The economic benefits of Rio Grande LNG would be far-reaching for the RGV. Some people may hear about the thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of operations jobs that the proposed LNG project is expected to bring and ask “How does that benefit me? I don’t work in that industry.”

Anyone who studies the big picture will see that the proposed Rio Grande LNG project would have a huge and lasting positive impact on the Rio Grande Valley, no matter the type of business.

As the owner of a sign company, I can envision many opportunities when Rio Grande LNG begins construction. The project, estimated to cost as much as $17 billion, will inject billions of dollars into our economy and generate tremendous economic growth.

Rio Grande LNG’s financial investment and direct jobs would snowball to reach every sector of our economy. Companies would need to order signs from my company, and workers would need groceries, clothing, day care and more for themselves and their families. The list is huge!

The Perryman Group, a Texas-based economic research company, released a study in 2015 that included, among other data, the expected cumulative impact of construction and operations of both the Rio Grande LNG project and the associated Rio Bravo Pipeline.

Total cumulative impact on business activity and tax receipts in the first 25 years is estimated to be an additional $2.7 billion in retail sales, $5.9 billion in personal income and $38 billion in total expenditures, or dollars changing hands, in Cameron County. Injecting those new dollars into our economy would be a life-changer for many in our economically repressed area.

Albert Escobedo,

Los Fresnos

Preserving South Texas’ environment

Thanks for publishing the story on anti-fracking activist Sharon Wilson of Earthworks from Denton, as she alerted those in deep South Texas to air quality issues here.

Ms. Wilson spelled out the dangers (poisons contained in various chemicals) of oil and gas extraction to the processing steps, and then their use, especially in electrical generation.

A touch of irony: Much of the world has condemned the alleged use by North Korea, Russia and Syria of nerve gas. However, Ms. Wilson’s warnings about the gas and oil emissions, especially methane, usually go unquestioned. Corporate profits, which maintain “our way of life” somehow triumph over public health costs.

Alas, so little say we regular citizens have had in fighting the tentacles of the oil and gas octopus. It’s so much easier to listen to the news casts rail about other lands’ poisons.

Wilson, though, feels this perceived powerlessness is changing, even in red areas of Texas.

I hope she is correct for the sake of better breathing, fresh water and eventually sustainable energy.

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, Brownsville

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