Supporters and opponents of SpaceX launch site air their concerns - Ars Technica
Oct 19, 2021 1 min, 13 secs
The comments in favor of SpaceX were more likely to come from out of state, from people generally appreciative of the company's efforts to make humanity a "multiplanetary species." However, there were plenty of local supporters as well.

Most of those who spoke against the project said they lived near Brownsville, or in the state of Texas.

Several proponents of SpaceX said they had grown up near Cape Canaveral, in Florida, or other launch sites around the planet and had not seen environmental degradation in the vicinity.

Rohan Joseph, who identified himself as an aerospace engineer, "lifelong environmentalist," and birder, cited the protection of sea turtles at launch sites in India as an example of the positive effects of a launch site on an area.

He also wondered why SpaceX appeared to be receiving so much scrutiny for its launch site when there was a former oil drilling site in the vicinity, or, if the environment was so pristine, why nearby South Padre Island had been allowed to be built up.

Austin Barnard, who said he has lived in Brownsville his entire life, recalled growing up in South Texas without any sense of hope for the future.

A city commissioner from Brownsville, Jessica Tetreau-Kalifa, noted that before SpaceX's decision to move to South Texas in 2013, the area was "the poorest community in the United States." By coming to the region, she said, SpaceX has changed everything, from the perception of the region to its economic outlook.


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