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Local Texas state/city politicians pressure congressmen to get Starship approved by FAA

Local state/city politicians from Brownsville are applying pressure on their local congressmen to get the FAA to approve its environmental reassessment of SpaceX’s Starship facility in Boca Chica approved.

Asked if the BND [Brownsville Navigation District] Board of commissioners had made its position known to Reps. Vela and Gonzalez, Lopez said: “Actually, right now, we are in talks with both of them. We want them to help. It is a huge economic impact, having SpaceX here. It makes the Rio Grande Valley and in this case Brownsville more lucrative. It gives global attention to our city, which is something we have needed for a long, long, time.”

A reporter put it to Lopez that the City of Brownsville is hoping to attract thousands of tourists once SpaceX starts sending rockets to the Moon and Mars. “It would be a tremendous loss if we lose that,” Lopez said.

Both Congressmen are members of the Democratic Party, so I doubt seriously if they care that much for the economic benefits brought to Brownsville by SpaceX, no matter what they say in public. For Democrats nowadays it is environmental matters that trump all other issues, and so it would shock me if either Vela or Gonzalez buck their party’s agenda to pressure the FAA to approve the environmental reassessment.

However, the November elections are looming, and the polls do not look good for Democrats. If the FAA rejects the reassessment prior to that election and demands that a full environmental impact statement be written, something I now fear will happen because the FAA cannot get NOAA and the Interior Department to sign on, SpaceX will almost certainly shift its Starship operations to Florida. An impact statement would take years to complete, a delay that SpaceX cannot afford. Such a sequence of events would likely do great harm to the reelection campaigns of both Democrats.

I thus now wonder if the Biden administration will force the FAA to continue delaying its decision, month-by-month, until after that November election, thus allowing these Democrats to mouth support without risking anything.

We shall know I think before the end of the month, which is presently the FAA’s announced target date for making a decision. I am willing to bet they delay again, for the fourth time.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Doubting Thomas

    Unfortunately, that boob, Gov Greg Abbott (RINO Texas), won the primary substantially, over his two credible challengers, whose common point was that Abbott has done nothing that he said he would do, regarding the border, focused economic development for Texas and for real election integrity.

    I have written the Gov’s office twice regarding SpaceX and heard nothing back. Trying to confirm that he spoke up for SpaceX during the FAA comment period. Suspect, since I am having a hard time confirming, that he did nothing, per usual.

  • Concerned

    Sorry to hear Abbott survived. RINOs are one of the most dangerous animals in our country. If there was any effective opposition at all levels of government, we wouldn’t be as deep in the mess we now find ourselves. All RINOs must be primaried.

  • Jeff Wright

    The two Dems here may actually like all things space.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Abbott could be a hell of a lot worse. I used to live is Texas. Would I have preferred Allen there, yes. But, if still a voter there, I would back Abbott in a moment over Beto.

    I never expect to agree on everything with politicians.

  • Doubting Thomas

    sippin – Of course I will vote for Abbott instead of Robert Frances O’Rourke. I just wish the tool would actually DO something he says he is going to do.

  • Edward

    We should keep our eyes out for whether SpaceX stops construction at the Boca Chica site. If they give up on using that site then they won’t bother spending much more money on it.

    The State of Texas had thought this economic activity important, back in 2013, when they offered a $2.3 million incentive to SpaceX if it had the spaceport active with 180 employees by the end of the third quarter of 2018. Due to unforeseen events, SpaceX had been unable to meet that goal and returned the advanced portion of the incentive. However, SpaceX was eager to get Boca Chica operational and met the goal about a year later (no incentive received, as it was by then unnecessary). It would be a shame for the state to lose this asset that it has valued for almost a decade.

  • Star Bird

    We need a Star Ship large enough to send all the Liberal Democrats into deep space

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