Wednesday, May 8, 2013


By Juan Montoya
It doesn't matter how many times we point out the differences between the Brownsville Economic Development Council and the City of Brownsville's version of the SpaceX project envisioned for Boca Chica and the Environmental Impact Statement the company handed the federal government, yet still the unfounded claims get bandied about by its supporters.
Whether you are for it or not, below are some of the stark difference between the EIS and the claims by local SpaceX boosters abou the jobs the project is supposed to bring her.
You decide who is fudging what.
Brownsville Herald quoting BEDC's VP Gilbert Salinas and BEDC CEO Jason Hilts:
"If constructed, the new launch site is reported to directly or indirectly create about 1,000 jobs, all paying in excess of $55,000.

EIS SpaceX submitted to the FAA:
Approximately 30 full-time SpaceX employees/contractors would be present at the vertical launch area and/or control center area in 2013... During a launch campaign, an additional 100 local or transient workers would be working at the vertical launch area and/or control center area. During launch campaigns, the additional workers could work extended hours; however, 2 days prior to launch, full-time SpaceX employees/contractors and the local or transient workers would need to be on-site for up to 24 hours per day. Staffing on-site would return to normal levels (approximately 30 full-time SpaceX employees/contractors) within a day or two after the actual launch. 
Table 2.1-2 shows the number of full-time SpaceX employees/contractors working on site plus the local/transient workers necessary during launch campaigns that would be present between 2013 and 2022.
Table 2.1-2. Personnel for Proposed SpaceX Texas Launch Site Operations

Year                      Full-time SpaceX                                   Full-time SpaceX
                            Employees/Contractors                           Employees/Contractors plus
                               Working On-Site                           Additional Local/Transient Workers
                                                                                         during Launch Campaigns

2013                                          30                                                       130
2014                                          75                                                       175
2015                                         100                                                      200
2016                                         100                                                      200
2017                                         110                                                      210
2018                                         130                                                      230
2019                                         150                                                      250
2020                                         150                                                      250
2021                                         150                                                      250
2022                                         150                                                      250

Now, these numbers are the ones given by SpaceX to the federal government in its Environmental Impact Statement. Salinas and Hilt (and Mayor Tony Martinez and the commission) all say there will be 1,000 direct and indirect jobs each paying $55,000 as a result of SpaceX establishing operations here. Are the indirect jobs those shining shoes and washing cars for the permanent workers? Or is it the extra waitress at the Boca Chica buffet restaurant needed every two weeks a month to service them?
At the peak of employment 10 years from now SpaceX says it will need only 250 workers (including the 150 full-time employees) to shoot the rocket. Who's lying?


Anonymous said...

Space-X is a giant con. It will destroy the last wild area of southern Cameron Country, cover up historical sites and give handful of decent jobs and a couple dozen of minimum wage jobs in return.

When Space-X loses it's NASA contract to a lower bidder, they will pack up, go away and leave nothing of value behind. The destruction they leave behind can never be repaired.

Joaquin said...

I agree with the statement above. The area has spent so much money attracting these goons and in the end, they'll get very little, if anything, back. They should have spent all that time attracting other industries to the area. Talented young people are leaving the valley in droves because they can't find decent jobs.

Ben said...

Luckily for us Space X will not even consider Boca Chica.