Area Congressmen Gene Green and Pete Olson emphasized that the Port of Houston and Houston Ship Channel are the key to boosting growth of the Houston region, as they addressed the Petrochemical and Maritime Outlook Conference last week in Pasadena.
They urged that all area entities work together to achieve an even greater global reach as they provided updates on federal government activity and legislation that could restrict or benefit the area’s growth.
Both they and other speakers pointed out how success for the region had come from working together.
Green emphasized the importance of the Port of Houston and told how federal funding had dropped and how more money is needed for dredging to keep the depth at 45 feet.
“ But what is more important is when the Panama Canal expands, we need to get the Port, Barbours Cut and the Houston Ship Channel to 50 feet to be competitive with other ports. We have been blessed here with the petrochemical complex and energy industry ,” for example, stressing just how important the area’s refineries that make the special fuel are.
“ Some 250,000 people work on the docks of the Port of Houston and in the chemical plants. Multiply that by any number and you see the economic generators. So what we do in Southeast Texas is not only important here and to Texas, but it acts as an economic generator .”
However, Olson sees challenges ahead.
“ The private sector is not making the needed investments to grow our economy due to unnecessary regulatory burdens and policies that foster economic uncertainty…In order for this region to maintrain its status as a global import-export center, we must eliminate the red tape that is stifling economic growth and reducing our competitiveness in the global market ,” pointing out that the Houston Ship Channel was one mile longer than the Panama Canal.