Saturday, August 16, 2014


Brownsville Herald quoting Brownsville EDC'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."

By Juan Montoya
Well, now that SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk has given the Boca Chica launch pad the nod over three other potential sites elsewhere, the local yokels' mouth is salivating over the visions of thousands of high-paying jobs coming to Cameron County as a result of the decision.

The State of Texas, City of Brownsville, Cameron County and now Harlingen, have pulled out all the stops to try to cash in on the future bonanza that awaits the area with the coming of the private launch site at Boca. As far as we know, without the added tax abatements, etc., Musk will be getting some $15 million in "incentives" to bring his private launch pad to Boca Chica.

And, of course, the launch site will need water that doesn't exist out there, plenty of it. In fact, millions of gallons. Will the "incentivizing" entities chip in a few generations of indebtedness to bring home Elon's bacon?

According to the report published by Emma Perez-TreviƱo in the local daily, Harlingen wants a seat at the table in return for a slight investment.

Emma writes that: "The Harlingen Economic Development Corp. board on Tuesday recommended an incentive package of $450,000 for Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies, which plans to develop a launch site at Boca Chica Beach amid the space exploration firm’s continuing investment in land in Cameron County.

In return, 10 percent of a minimum of 100 jobs that SpaceX proposes to create would be filled by Harlingen residents."


What year are we talking about?

Since we are already well into 2014 and rapidly closing in on 2015, the company's own projections to the federal government will have to be move a couple of years ahead. When SpaxeX submitted its Environmental Impact Statement, it never mentioned anywhere near 1,000 full-time workers in it.

In fact, it stated that in a ten-year span since the inception (2013 to 2022), it would have 150 full-time workers (never mentioned salaries, either) plus another 100 or so (total 250). SO will Musk be forced to employ 15 people from Harlingen to get the $450,000?

Don't take our word for it. Here's SpaceX's own proposal to the FAA.

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 (2015? now?)... 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

Full-time SpaceX Employees            Full-time SpaceX
                           /Contractors Working On-Site          Employees/Contractors plus
                                                                                        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

So what part of the pork belly is Harlingen investing in?
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