Texas Decides To Defend America: Fact, Not Brag
A week after Sept. 11, 2001, I spoke with a disaster-response expert about terrorist targets in Texas. The Houston Ship Channel, "with all those refineries," was his first reply. How to protect it? He said: "You tell me."
In December 2020 Forbes magazine published an article by David Blackmon addressing the vulnerability of offshore oil and gas infrastructure to criminal and terrorist attack.
Worldwide pirates and terrorists routinely attack tankers and oil facilities. Nigeria is an example. Drug cartels have seized platforms in Mexican waters. Their thugs demand ransom to return the platforms to production and free the crews.
Blackmon is an expert in offshore vulnerabilities. "For Americans," he wrote, " ... tankers and facilities being damaged or coming under attack seem like someone else's problems ... the fact is that these key assets and infrastructure are vulnerable to water-borne and airborne assault." Airborne includes drone strikes.
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon offshore platform debacle cost BP around $70 billion and threatened the entire Louisiana coast. Terrorists and crooks could intentionally cause a Deepwater Horizon disaster.
So could an enemy nation-state. My 2001 Houston Ship Channel expert made that point.
In 2020, despite pandemic production drops, Corpus Christi, Texas, handled 55% of market share of U.S. crude exports. The canal from Corpus to Port Aransas to the Gulf of Mexico can be blocked in several places. Close Houston's or Corpus Christi's connecting channel and American energy and chemical supplies suffer an instant blockade, without the enemy risking naval forces. The entire U.S. economy suffers. The May 2021 Colonial Pipeline cyberhack's economic costs would pale in comparison.
Who perceives our vulnerability? Communist China does. China doesn't need an Atlantic navy to conduct the operation, just saboteurs with position.
So, what do we do?
Some American leaders have real answers. At the moment, the most demonstrable reside in Texas.