PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

April 15, 2013

Keystone Pipeline money already reaching SE Texas

The economic boon that began with the Lucas Gusher more than a hundred years ago and changed the landscape of Southeast Texas is undergoing another phase with the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline.

The pipeline, divided into sections, includes the Gulf Coast Pipeline Project beginning in Cushing, Okla. and ending in Nederland. History shows the oil industry has been good to southeast Texas by creating jobs as well as helping the economy through related industries such as motels, housing, entertainment and more.

The economic impact of the pipeline to the area has become a topic of debate for some.

Jim Prescott, spokesperson for TransCanada, said the company is already using local vendors with the area’s portion of the pipeline. They include: Quality Mats, Beaumont; Coastal Welding, Beaumont; Kat Excavation and Construction, Sour Lake; Read Ice, Kountze; Colvin Auto Parts, Livingston; and security services from various individuals and firms in southeast Texas.

Prescott explained that pipelines are built in spreads. The project will have three spreads with 750 to 1,000 workers per spread. Each of those workers will likely spend about $2,500 per month in the area they are working for a total of about $2.5 million.

“Then you add in the total cost, construction plus personal costs such as groceries, rent, fuel for cars, entertainment and such and that number rises to between $4 to $5 million,” Prescott said.

Prescott couldn’t estimate the dollar amount of taxes the project would generate but did say that the company is already one of the biggest ad valorem tax payers in some areas where they are already established.

Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick sees the project as a plus for the area for a number of reasons such as using natural resources in America as opposed to relying on other countries, providing a variety of feedstock for all local refineries so they’re not dependent solely on water-borne transportation of crude into the plants, providing jobs and for positioning the area for future economic expansions.

Branick said the recent expansions of industry in the area are already being felt.

“Sales tax receipts at the county level 10 years ago compared to what they are today shows the numbers have almost doubled,” he said.

The area,  built on the oil industry, welcomes the pipeline.

“We have the right attitude toward the pipeline and I think the rest of the country needs to see this,” Branick said. “In our area we doubled the ad valorem tax base in the last 10 years through industrial expansions at a time when the rest of the country wasn’t seeing grown. Energy has been good to our economy. Since Jefferson County and the Texas Gulf Coast provides most of the energy for the nation, I think they need to understand.”

Text Only
Local News