8 The Texas Observer The Texas Observer in the Classroom Six $ Issues For orders of ten or more copies of each issue sent to a single address the cost for the semester is just $1.00 per person, sales tax included. Classroom subscriptions will begin with the issue published in early February and extend through April. Six fortnightly issues in all. That’s about 179 an issue . . . 35V less than the single copy price. To place your order, please indicate the number of students who will be subscribing, your needs regarding a free desk copy, and a mailing address we should use. If the number of subscribers is uncertain, feel free to make a generous estimate. After the class rolls settle, we will bill you at $1.00 each only for the number of persons who finally decide to subscribe. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 600 West 7 Austin Tx 78701 \(Continued from Page offshore port proposal because it does not threaten intolerable damage to Texas bays, beaches and wildlife.” He congratulated the TOTC “on a difficult task beautifully and speedily accomplished.” THE COMMISSION concluded, as SEADOCK concluded, that an offshore port is both economically and environmentally preferable to an inshore port. Inshore the alternatives are to dredge a deep enough harbor to handle big tankers or to allow large numbers of smaller ships to make calls on the shallow ports. The dredging, of course, is enormously expensive. The TOTC estimates it would cost between $500 million and $900 million to dredge a deep channel into the Galveston port and between $187 million and $327 million to deepen the Corpus Christi facility at Harbor Island. And dredging creates havoc in a bay and estuary system. Dredging causes turbidity and saltwater intrusion and damages sealife nurseries. A glut of small ships visiting inshore ports could also damage the coast, according to the TOTC. The small oil-carrying ships are obsolete and are therefore more liable to spills than the supertankers, the report says. The most likely place for accidents is at a congested port entrance and the closer to shore an oil spill is, the more damage it is going to do. Of course, a major oil spill by a supertanker could muck up a thousand miles of coastline, but the Commission argues that the big tankers are safer than the older smaller ships and, besides, it is easier to clean up an oil spill on the open seas. The TOTC plan calls for constructing an offshore pumping platform connected by pipelines to two to six single point moor buoys at least one mile from one another. The platform would be connected to an onshore tank farm by large submarine pipelines. Privately-owned pipelines would transport the oil from the tank farm processing points. In addition, the Commission suggests that further onand offloading facilities might be needed in the future. The TOTC maintains that a state-owned, state-financed terminal would ultimately result in consumers’ saving a little on the cost of petroleum products. In rebuttal Fred Ashford, Jr., president of SEADOCK, argues that private industry should build the facility “because we’re convinced that we can do it most quickly, most efficiently and with most total environmental and economic benefit for the people of Texas.” The consortium already has spent $2.6 million for studies and for securing options on two tracts of land near Freeport, and it’s not about to roll over and play dead just because a commission says the port ought to be built by the state. BOTH THE Offshore Terminal Commission and SEADOCK must wait on federal and state action before they can proceed. It’s no easy task to get permission to build a terminal in international waters. Just for starters, you have to get the go ahead from the Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Pipeline Safety of the Department of Transportation and the Maritime Administration. You have to follow the guidelines of the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization of the United Nations, you must get insurance from TOVALOP \(Tankers Owners’ Voluntary Agreement CRISTAL \(Contract Regarding and Interim Supplement to Tanker Liability for Oil international agencies must be consulted.. Two bills before Congress are designed to make the licensing procedure quicker and easier. The TOTC favors H.R. 10701 by Rep. John Breaux of Louisiana. Breaux’ bill would consolidate the liCensing procedures under the Deepwater Port Facilities Commission while giving the state adjacent to the port veto power over the project. SEADOCK prefers H.R. 5898 by Rep. Lenor K. Sullivan of Missouri, a bill which Senator Schwartz says would “let the oil companies have their own way with offshore terminals.” There’s also state legislation to consider. The. TOTC is merely an advisory group. Its proposal must be approved by the Legislature in 1975, or sooner if Governor Briscoe chooses to put the question before a special session. And the Legislature could decide to approve a privately-financed port. As Burgess Griesenbeck points out, the oil industry “will still have the campaign contributions weapon.” “There has never been a more important question of public versus private ownership,” Schwartz says. “Right now there is a lack of credibility of the oil industry in regard to public needs and public concerns. I think the public of Texas would come unglued if we let the oil companies have their way. They’ll wage a full scale lobbying attempt in the Legislature, but those votes aren’t so easy to get as they used to be.” K.N. Here where Coronado wandered after gold, here above his servant’s bones, an old man gone beyond his.memory stares at the earth, wondering secrets into life which, shuddering with time, die unmarked. Monty Jones Austin
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