I would like to encourage all, but at least five, of the no voting Senators, to add to the yes votes of Senators’ Sanes, Buckley and Cole, to effect the reconsideration and ratification of the HOVENSA Agreement; and perhaps the at-large Senator will participate this time.
Seems the Senators who voted “No” didn’t understand the consequences of their actions, or perhaps they did? They voted to shut down one of the deepest ports in the nation and St. Croix’s only fuel port, along with the economy. It is not a perfect agreement, none ever are. Historically the St. Thomas Senators would vote pragmatically and with a couple of St. Croix Senators these types of Agreements would carry; not a perfect system either. I read about the “no senators’ show” leading up to the vote, immature to put it mildly. Health was used as a concern. The refinery has the coker and cat-cracker that are, or are close, to regulatory EPA compliant and the older units would probably never see action again unless brought to compliant regulations; so the health issue is not a conclusive argument. The refinery’s infrastructure such as the deep water port, fuel storage and industry zone are an asset to the economy and should be considered as part of the need to diversify the economy more. Just recently I read an article creating an aeronautical program at the St. Croix Technical School. Did the no senators consider the existing aviation industry on St. Croix being catastrophically impacted by the closure of the fuel port and how it would affect this new program? Do the no senators remember when HOVENSA would fuel the cruise ships in Port Frederiksted that was a significant help to the economy? Now, unless this agreement is reconsidered and ratified the aviation industry on St. Croix could become a memory too.
Five million as an initial attorney fund? To my knowledge there is no law that forces a “man” to work or for a company to operate in the U.S. and territories. Can you imagine the government telling all the businesses that they cannot shut down? Does this path really need an argument, at a cost of five, ten, twenty million …? When the tax base is completely destroyed by the anti- business interests will the no senators remember where their pay checks use to originate from?
Please, Senators do the right thing and reconsider the HOVENSA Agreement and ratify it. There is opportunity there for your own children and at all the spin-off supporting businesses; unless you prefer the migration route.