Public pressure deflates gas plant proposal in Port Arthur

Almost 100 people showed up at Port Arthur city council Monday night to let council members know they don't want a plant that converts natural gas into gasoline in their neighborhood.

The startup company ZeoGas has proposed the $1.2 billion plant be built near the El Vista neighborhood, off Highway 73 in west Port Arthur.

Backers of the project have said it would create 300 construction jobs, and 3,000 permanent jobs.

Many people said they've been promised jobs before, only to be exposed to health hazards and no economic benefits.

One person told council, "Port Arthur sacrifices, so American can have gasoline."

In response, the council decided to not take action, and could reconsider proposal if the company comes back with another location.

ZeoGas officials say they are also possibly considering the city of Beaumont.  Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick did give the company a letter of intent, saying commissioners would consider an 10-year, 100 percent tax abatement for ZeoGas.  But Commissioners Bo Alfred and Michael Sinegal have said they would need more information before making such a commitment.

Former Port Arthur City Councilman John Beard told 12News he was proud of citizens taking a stand against the project.


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