Better Brazoria works to empower people to protect our communities from threats to our health and environment. We seek to create a Brazoria County with clean air, clean water, clean government, and a better quality of life for all.
Better Brazoria is pushing back on projects that threaten our communities, advocating for policies that benefit Brazoria County residents, and holding polluters and their enablers accountable.
SEPTEMBER 17, 2023
Better Brazoria leaders march in New York City for ending environmental injustice in Gulf South sacrifice zones!
Video credit @betterbayou
Holding Freeport LNG accountable for their dangerous operations.
Freeport LNG exploded on June 8, 2022, and the blast injured multiple beachgoers, shook the homes of nearby residents and released a dangerous amount of toxic emissions. While no alarms sounded and we were told there was no threat to nearby communities, we have since learned otherwise. Although Freeport LNG was quick to claim that no one was injured in the explosion, we learned through our own community outreach that several people had been harmed, including a lifeguard and small child.
Following the explosion we, along with other impacted communities from across the Gulf, sent a letter to federal regulators demanding a public meeting in Freeport, as well as an update to federal regulations and more public transparency. For months the administration ignored the letter’s recommendations which led to our members traveling to DC to hold a press conference in front of FERC hoping to bring more attention to these issues. Although the public meeting was finally held, residents were angry that only 30 minutes were allotted for them to ask questions and express our concerns.
Federal regulators have now given the damaged terminal permission to restart operations. The news came as a shock to the community, because at a recent public meeting federal officials announced that not all of the damage from the explosion has even been repaired. During the meeting, our members expressed disappointment with how the aftermath of the explosion was handled, and questioned if there was proper oversight of the facility. We have also called on federal agencies to update the regulations that govern these gas export projects, which haven’t been changed in over 40 years, and were written for import terminals. Notably absent from the meeting were representatives from Freeport LNG.
NEW ANALYSIS SHINES LIGHT ON MASSIVE TAX BREAKS FOR GULF COAST POLLUTERS
Better Brazoria has released the results of a new comprehensive analysis, conducted by AutoCase Economic Advisory, of corporate tax breaks given to oil, gas and petrochemical polluters by local elected officials over the past five years. The report includes jaw-dropping new details about the size and scope of property tax breaks given to some of the wealthiest corporations in the world by Brazoria County and local municipalities and school districts.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE PRESS RELEASE.
Fighting deepwater crude oil export projects that pollute our coast.
Our group has been actively opposing the proposed Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT) project, which would be located 35 miles off the coast of Brazoria County. If built, SPOT would be the largest offshore export terminal in the United States, with the capacity to export 2 million barrels of crude oil per day (85,000 barrels an hour!) through pipelines cutting directly through Surfside Beach.
The project would not only put the Gulf at risk of another massive oil spill, it would expose our communities to harmful volatile organic compound emissions, jeopardize our groundwater, and threaten marine ecosystems including the endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtles that nest on Surfside Beach every year. In an area already designated by the EPA as Severe Nonattainment for ozone, conservative estimates suggest SPOT could result in local emissions equivalent to 90 coal-fired power plants.
We have opposed the project from its initial stages and have worked with dozens of other organizations to turn out over 80,000 public comments over the years. We have canvassed our communities, held public meetings, tabled at local events, met with government officials and representatives, held demonstrations and helped organize local resistance to stop SPOT.
Recently, despite pledging to prioritize climate change and environmental justice in its decision making, the Biden Administration approved the application for the Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT). We, along with other allied organizations, are involved in a lawsuit against the Department of Transportation to fight this reckless decision.
Gulflink, a similar project that is proposed to be built only 7 miles from SPOT, is further behind in the permitting process, and we still have many opportunities to oppose its construction. We have stood alongside the people of Jones Creek who have opposed the project's placement of tank farms in their community. We will continue to actively organize local opposition against the project.
Justice for the East End community. Hold the Port of Freeport accountable.
Some of our active members are from Freeport's East End community, which has suffered civil rights violations and racial injustices stemming from the Port of Freeport’s displacement actions. We are focused on highlighting this and all issues of environmental racism here in Brazoria County. We work to hold the Port of Freeport and Freeport city officials accountable for the harms they have caused the East End and other communities of color. Better Brazoria will relentlessly bring attention to the disproportionate negative health impacts of polluting industries on our low-income communities and communities of color in Brazoria County. We will no longer allow polluting profiteers to disregard any person's health and safety.
READY TO FIGHT FOR A BETTER BRAZORIA?
Sign up below to let us know you want to help protect our communities' future. We have virtual and in-person meetings every month and encourage you to attend to learn more!