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We can both protect the fossil fuel industry and preserve our environment.
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We can both protect the fossil fuel industry and preserve our environment.

The Rio Grande Valley, also known as RGV, is one of America’s fastest growing regions. According to the US Census BureauBetween 1990 and 2020 McAllen and Mission, the population grew sixfold to almost 871,000 people. According to a study, the RGV will have 2.5 million residents by 2040. ReportIssued by Rubi Group Capital.

Along with the population growth, there has been economic opportunity and jobs. The majority of it comes from the oil and natural gas industry and the shipping of liquified gas due to the Eagle Ford Shale. With the ProductionOne million barrels per day of oil and the region accounting 4.4 percentThe RGV is the largest producer of natural gas in the United States.

Fossil fuels, and the jobs in that sector, have played a crucial role in RGVs growth over many decades. That job growth should continue with technological innovation. As the Dallas Federal Reserve points out, “recent advances in horizontal drilling technology allow companies to extract oil and natural gas from shale, bringing new jobs and growing wealth to many rural communities in South Texas.”

Leaders in Congress and the White House are still discussing policies that could have major impacts on Texas and RGVs growth. Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has proposed environmental legislation, the Green New Deal. EliminateThe fossil fuel industry, as we know. This would result in thousands of South Texasans losing their jobs and a devastating economic impact on the RGV.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to preserve our environment. It is a noble goal, and one I share. But, preserving the lives of Texans must be a top priority in any legislative agenda. Both protecting our environment and preserving jobs don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

This is why I am proud to be an Advisory Board Member of The Carbon Neutral Coalition (CNC). CNC is working towards making Texas carbon neutral by 2050. We are establishing the infrastructure necessary to allow energy companies carbon storage in permanent locations. This is called Carbon Capture Underground Storage (CCUS).

This would ensure Texas’s fossil fuel industry remains vibrant while creating a new economic pathway for our farmers, ranchers, and ranchers. The agriculture industry can offer their land for storage of excess carbon in exchange for a fee. This will generate another source for them. This would be particularly advantageous to the RGV which has one the largest agricultural industries within the state.

Texas must now take action to protect the fossil fuel sector and the environment. This legislation allows the private sector to use CCUS. Texas has been a major economic powerhouse due to its energy industry. We must protect it. Join us at the movement.

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Tina Yturria Buford, an Advisory Board Member of the Carbon Neutral Coalition and Director of Education for the East Foundation. The column appeared in The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service. Yturria Buford is reachable via email via:[email protected].

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