Scott Fisher, TFFA Senior VP of Policy & Public Affairs, left, with Susan Tyler, CSHO Environmental and Regulatory Compliance Manager, Sun Coast Resources; at the State Operations Center during Hurricane Laura.
While hurricane-force winds still are present in the Piney Woods of East Texas this morning, Texas started the day feeling thankful, but with a bit of sadness too. Our good fortune was at the cost of our good neighbors and friends in Louisiana. The silver lining to the story for both states: Hurricane Laura has kept a steady pace northward and we all have avoided a repeat of Hurricane Harvey’s 50 inches of rain.
While it's too early for a complete damage assessment, this much is clear, the storm made landfall more easterly than anticipated, and spared the coastal portion of Texas from the worst of its wrath. Beaumont is without power in many parts of town, Port Arthur as well, but the damage assessments we’ve heard so far this morning are relatively minor. The refining complexes of Houston and Beaumont definitely came through without a lot of issues beyond their slowdowns within the individual plants. It is possible the storm surge may still have impacted their freshwater availability, so we are awaiting the actual assessments to come in.
Obviously, Lake Charles took a direct hit, and one could expect the two refineries located there (Citgo and Phillips) to be down for an indeterminate amount of time. TFFA is supporting a waiver for RFG to ease any supply issues caused by the storm. This requires the approval of EPA/DOE on the federal level. We will keep you up to date on the progress of this effort.
TFFA would like to thank all of the members who communicated with our staff to keep everyone informed on the latest issues as the state prepared for the landfall of Laura. In addition, we owe Governor Abbott’s staff and the Governor personally a huge thank you for their tireless work and attention to our industry’s needs during the past 5 days.