“While there's been a litany of narratives about boom towns from North Dakota to South Texas, Quintana may be the only community that could shrink - or even vanish, some holdout homeowners fear - in response to the country's surge in energy production,” writes Ryan Holeywell.
The reason for the threat to Quintana is a plan proposed by Freeport LNG, which is hoping to invest $14 billion in its Quintana facility to expand export capacity amid the shale-driven natural gas boom.
Freeport LNG has made two propositions to residents of Quintana to smooth the way for the expansion. The first is two buy houses in the nearby town for market rate, plus $25,000. “The company doesn't know exactly what it's going to do with the houses,” writes Holeywell. “Ones in poor shape probably will be demolished… while others could house construction workers and eventually employees.”
Mark Mallett, Freeport LNG's senior vice president for operations and projects, told Holeywell that the company’s buy-out proposition is meant to address the concerns of residents living near the facility, not to “take over the island.” Freeport LNG has “also offered to pay for $1 million in infrastructure improvements for the town, once the project receives all the permits it needs.”