Economic Impact

The Economics Do Not Justify the Lone Star Port Project

The Economic Impact

The Lone Star Ports project is a massive gamble that production, delivery and demand will align to substantiate the risk of irrevocably damaging Port A’s fragile ecosystem and burgeoning tourism industry. There are better alternatives currently in progress, owned and operated by some of the largest oil and gas midstream companies, to export Texas crude oil.

What About Port Aransas?

Tourism is the Lifeblood of the Port Aransas Economy

“We get something like 6 million visitors a year, so the town is totally dependent on tourism…Who wants to vacation across from a supertanker terminal? We’re worried about Port Aransas becoming Port Arthur.”

– John Donovan, a Founding Member of Port Aransas Conservancy, lives in Austin and owns a vacation home In Port Aransas

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Port Aransas is enjoyed by its 4,000 full-time residents and by hundreds of thousands of Texans and visitors from around the country each year. Port Aransas’ economy runs on tourism, which generates $400 million each year for local businesses.


Even during the COVID-19 crisis, tourism in Port Aransas is booming. The area has seen one of the largest influxes of AirBnB rentals in the country. As the area rebounds from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, developing a crude oil facility in Port Aransas would stifle the city’s economic rebuilding efforts.


A crude oil tanker facility in Port Aransas would negatively impact the jobs and revenue generated by ecotourism, fishing, water sports and vacation rentals -- the lifeblood of the Port Aransas culture and economy.

“Port Aransas is held up by its tourism economy. The small town of 3,500 residents sees 5 million tourists a year, bringing in $400 million in revenue.”

— Corpus Christi Business News

Reduced Demand for Crude Oil

Falling Crude Oil Production and Demand

Competition Along the Gulf Coast

  • Currently, there are several offshore oil terminals being proposed along the Gulf Coast to serve Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), including the BWTX Project (expected to service up to 16 VLCCs per month), Enterprise’s Sea Port Oil Terminal near Freeport, and Sentinel Midstream’s Texas Gulf Link project off the coast of Brazoria Co.(expected to service 15 VLCCs per month), Jupiter in Brownsville, the Plaquemines Liquids Terminal in Mississippi.
  • Meanwhile, Port of Corpus Christi officials are seeking a permit to build three million to five million barrels of oil storage as part of the proposed Lone Star Ports project.
  • The risk to the environment and tourism is not worth the risk of developing an onshore crude oil terminal in Port Aransas, especially considering that an offshore terminal would almost double the Port’s current export capacity.
  • Offshore and onshore facilities would compete for the same VLCC traffic the Port of Corpus Christi hopes to attract, and combined with lower production numbers, the amount of exports does not substantiate the Harbor Island development’s risk to Port A’s ecology or tourism.

“Oil fields, refineries, pipelines and export infrastructure have sustained an economic body blow, said Rusty Braziel, the chief executive of RBN Energy, a Houston consultancy that analyzes energy markets. He added that his firm did not see a recovery in growth for another five years. ‘The whole picture has changed,’ he said. ‘Every company we deal with has already made decisions to dial things back. Not temporarily. Permanently.’”