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.
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