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Brownsville SpaceX Space Port Faces More Regulatory Hurdles

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the hurry-up-and-wait dept.

Government 78

MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "It turns out that the recent FAA environmental impact statement that seemed to give a stamp of approval for the proposed SpaceX space port in south Texas is not the end of the regulatory process, but the end of the beginning. A story in the Brownsville Herald reminds us that the report has kicked off a 30 day review period after which the FAA can allow SpaceX to apply for a launch license to start work on the Brownsville area launch facility. And that in turn kicks off a 180 day process during which the FAA makes the decision whether or not to grant the required licensing and permits.

But even that is not the end of the regulatory hurdles that SpaceX must face before the first Falcon rocket roars into the skies over the Gulf of Mexico. The Longview News-Journal reports that a number of state and federal agencies must give their approval for various aspects of the space port before it becomes operational. For instance, the Texas Department of Transportation must give approval for the movement of utility lines. Environment Texas still opposes the space port since it is close to a wild life reserve and a state park. SpaceX has already agreed to enact measures to minimize the impact the space port would have on the environment, 'such as containing waste materials from the construction and enforcing a speed limit in the control center area.' Environment Texas is not impressed, however. Whether it is disposed to make trouble in the courts is an open question."

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Non News (4, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 5 months ago | (#47191521)

These are all formalities.

The US Government knows that they need SpaceX, and Texas definitely wants SpaceX to stay in Texas, and folks, both for the completely obvious reasons.

Of course there are reviews to take place, and itâ(TM)s my guess that none of this is either a surprise nor going to be a roadblock to the SpaceX Thunderdome in Texasâ¦

Re:Non News (5, Informative)

hey! (33014) | about 5 months ago | (#47191545)

It's all pretty standard for any kind of large project. Why should a spaceport face less environmental review than a shopping mall?

Re:Non News (0)

germansausage (682057) | about 5 months ago | (#47191599)

Mod the hell up and close the thread. Not much left to say.

Re:Non News (-1, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 5 months ago | (#47191789)

The "story", such that it is, was probably submitted by a "Libertarian".

Remember "Love Canal"? [wikipedia.org] This is what happens with no regulation, minimal regulation, or simply ignoring regulation.

I know, the reference is so old, the 20-somethings that now populate Slashdot will say "what?" ...

Get off my lawn.

Re:Non News (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 5 months ago | (#47191817)

Remember "Love Canal"? [wikipedia.org] This is what happens with no regulation, minimal regulation, or simply ignoring regulation.

You mean the waste dump the local government pushed the company to sell to them and then built a school on, after having been warned that it was, in fact, a waste dump?

Yes, if only government had been more involved in that debacle, it would clearly have been much better.

Re:Non News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47191997)

Yes, if only government had been more involved in that debacle, it would clearly have been much better.

Indeed, if only they had. Such as by preventing dumping waste in an inappropriate fashion for decades. But instead they were just doing what they were told, rather than thoroughly investigating the situation.

Re:Non News (1)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 5 months ago | (#47192103)

Yes, if only government had been more involved in that debacle, it would clearly have been much better.

Indeed, if only they had. Such as by preventing dumping waste in an inappropriate fashion for decades. But instead they were just doing what they were told, rather than thoroughly investigating the situation.

That would be the local government that had a map of all of the waste, that was stored in a manner well above existing standards, in the same area that the US Army and other government agencies were using substandard procedures and questionable accounting/maps, right? Also, the same local government that caused the first breech of the material by digging through the area to build a drainage system fo a new road.

Re:Non News (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47192187)

Yep, the government's lack of involvement was quite distressing. They could have prevented the waste from being placed there, they could have removed the waste after it was placed there. They could have made sure the site was secure. They didn't. A company was allowed to put toxic substances in the ground, in a fashion that was simply inappropriate, and the standards of the time were wholly inadequate.

And this was repeated hundreds, if not thousands of times across the country, in all sorts of circumstances. What, you think Love Canal is the only site on the Superfund list? It's not even the only site in Niagara that was operated by Hooker Chemicals. We're actually quite lucky that it was a school that suffered harm, people paid attention to it, rather than just brushed off.

Though it still took until the 1980s for things to start to get done. Which meant that in several cases, the parties responsible for poisoning the environment can barely be identified. So the rest of us often end up paying for it.

Re:Non News (1)

khallow (566160) | about 5 months ago | (#47192683)

Why keep fantasizing about people doing the right thing when it's evident that they wouldn't have done so? I'm sure the world would be a better place, if I invented human immortality in 1997, but that didn't happen either.

Re:Non News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47194561)

You're quite right, on their own, people doing the right thing is often a fantasy.

Hence the need for further action, rather than engaging in a fetish for the free market as many are wont to do.

Thus the existence of mechanisms in place that take steps to correct behavior, in a variety of means.

But no, inventing human immortality is not a particularly pertinent example, as that would not have been an action you took that harmed others, but a failure for you to achieve something. I suppose this could count as a corrective action for that mistake of yours, but as your mistake was hardly harmful on its own, the response is just an informative one that your example is lacking.

When you manage to get to something harmful with your words though, then action can be taken on their part.

Re:Non News (1)

bitSmiter (1222750) | about 5 months ago | (#47196075)

You obviously know nothing about Love Canal, or you wouldn't fetish-ise the role of government.

Who watches the watchers?

Re:Non News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47196505)

You must not have been following this whole conversation, the concerns you raise have already been addressed.

So apparently, you need to watch yourself a bit better. Perhaps if you had had a better education growing up?

Re:Non News (1)

khallow (566160) | about 5 months ago | (#47196587)

Thus the existence of mechanisms in place that take steps to correct behavior, in a variety of means.

But which didn't actually correct behaviors in the Love Canal example.

But no, inventing human immortality is not a particularly pertinent example, as that would not have been an action you took that harmed others, but a failure for you to achieve something.

I strongly disagree. You're going to die early because I didn't invent immortality in 1997. I'm really sorry about that.

Re:Non News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47196709)

Indeed, we've already covered that the mechanisms in place were insufficient. We are not in paradise. This is not news to anybody. That's why we keep making things better, and yes, that includes more involvement when less involvement is shown not to work.

When it comes to your example, I'm not sure there's any evidence you had any resources towards developing immortality at any point in your life, so it's a bit speculative.

Unless you can show us your grant proposal that was rejected? In that case, feel free to belabor the uninvolved government that didn't fund you.

Get in line for that though, you're hardly the first.

Re:Non News (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47192215)

Yes, if only government had been more involved in that debacle, it would clearly have been much better.

Blaming "government" as a monolithic entity makes just about as much sense as blaming "private enterprise" as a whole for any given problem. You do realize that there are even many agencies whose primary responsibility is ensuring accountability of other gov't agencies, right? There are 4.3M personnel employed by the federal gov't alone, across all sectors of the economy.

Your handwaving aside, the local (conservative) government and school district were not environmental agencies, and trying to equate the two is nothing more than disingenuous obfuscation.

Re:Non News (1)

khallow (566160) | about 5 months ago | (#47192687)

Blaming "government" as a monolithic entity makes just about as much sense as blaming "private enterprise" as a whole for any given problem.

And it would make sense, if private enterprise as a whole were responsible for a given problem.

Re:Non News (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47191823)

From the Wikipedia article that you linked to:

"The corporation initially refused to sell citing safety concerns; however, the school district refused to capitulate.[1] Eventually faced with parts of the property being condemned and/or expropriated, Hooker Chemical agreed to sell on the condition that the board buy the entire property for one dollar. In the agreement signed on April 28, 1953, Hooker included a seventeen-line caveat that explained the dangers of building on the site."

Maybe the "Libertarian" was right on this one.

Re:Non News (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47192741)

Fucking Wikipedia Cunts.

The ignorant arguing about which the are ignorant.

Blind leading the blind.

Re:Non News (0)

savuporo (658486) | about 5 months ago | (#47192011)

Flying megatons of dead dinosaur juice in close proximity of cryocooled oxidiser, mixed in with a good bunch of healthy hydrazine. Why would you ever be concerned about any impacts there.
Market regulates itself, right ?

Re:Non News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47194145)

Yes, if only NASA was subject to the same level of scrutiny, Challenger might not have exploded.

Re:Non News (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 5 months ago | (#47197651)

Why should a mall have to plow through all that unnecessary crap? This nation is done, historically. We're about 50 years behind Europe in our Great Decline, while the new center of empire, China, continues rocketting upwards.

See, economics doesn't care why you are hindering free enterprise, only that you are. It could be due to a failed state that cannot secure rights, including property.

It could be due to mafia or police or official kickbacks everywhere (in India, 10% of the cost of the building is the standard "fee", nudge-nudge, wink-wink, for approval papers).

It could be due to a regulatory burden and confiscatory tax rate on success that approximates [i]or exceeds[/i] the kickback percentages of corrupt nations.

[i][b]The economics don't care.[/b][/i]

He should threaten behind closed doors to move to a less insane environment. The politicians who ladeled this crap on him (to get True Believer votes) know what's up. When it [i]actually[/i] gets in the way...

Re:Non News (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 5 months ago | (#47197941)

Well that's lovely. Switching to Opera from my broken-down, pre-Chrome browser on Android busts ability to submit BBCode. Experiments with all four submission interpretation settings, Text (which used to work on Broken Down), html, extrans, forget code) all similarly don't do it.

This reminds me of the late 1970s, and the book "Why Nothing Works".

Re:Non News (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 5 months ago | (#47197969)

Unless... BBCode never worked here and it's been html all along.

My mind is going...mother...father...the sky glows...so cold...so very cold...

Re:Non News (1)

hey! (33014) | about 5 months ago | (#47203869)

I've been to Europe. You should go too, because if you're right and they're 50 years ahead of us, you should check it out.

Judging from the state of things in Europe, the Great Decline isn't going to be so bad. Sure a few of the people there don't speak American and a lot of 'em have queer opinions. But the grub, once you get used to it, isn't half bad for foreign muck. And a lot of the places they've got seriously kick-ass beer, and that goes a long way in my book.

And they've got a lot of hot women. I think it goes with the whole picturesque thing. I've got to admit they're really good at that. I mean, we have majestic mountains, and so do they, but *they* but these crazy cuckoo clock houses on 'em. Yeah, it's kind of gay, but if that's the way things are going we might as well get used to that sort of thing. I mean, what's the point of swimming against the tide of the future if in the end what you're fighting against is houses with fancy fretwork and really good beer. I can live with that.

Re:Non News (1, Flamebait)

p51d007 (656414) | about 5 months ago | (#47191623)

Shoot, 99% of environmental groups would have a problem if you disturb one blade of grass or one teaspoon of dirt. If they want to live in the stone age, move over to one of the "STAN" countries, or the bulk of Africa and leave the rest of us the heck alone.

Re:Non News (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47191693)

If they want to live in the stone age, move over to one of the "STAN" countries.

Not a good example. The two main cities of Kazakhstan now (and since the late '90s, really) are glittering skyscrapers, expensive cars, and haute couture fashion shops. I found Tajikistan surprisingly well-developed in parts, a consequences of remittences from men working abroad. Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan aren't doing too well, but they are entirely comparable to Eastern Europe after the collapse of Communism, which was poor certainly, but nowhere near "stone age" or "Third World".

Re:Non News (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47192149)

That's bullshit and you know it. The vast majority of environmental groups simply want compliance with existing environmental laws and regs (including proper NEPA review for major projects sanctioned by the gov't, a process conceived by the NIXON administration.

But hey, the tiny handful of real extreme environmental groups (apparently "99%" in your mind) make a convenient strawman, don't they?

Shoot, 99% of environmental groups would have a problem if you disturb one blade of grass or one
teaspoon of dirt.

Complete bull (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193327)

Your statement: " The vast majority of environmental groups simply want compliance with existing environmental laws and regs" is absolutely FALSE.

Every single significant "green" or "eco" group backs MORE regulations. Every administration since the rat-bastard Nixon has added more regulations than the administration that preceeded it; the ONLY thing that changes is the RATE at which new regs are added. Under Republicans, the rate of new regulations reduces and under Democrats the rate of new regulations increases. The Obama administration has increase redulations faster than anybody since Nixon.

Here's a suggestion: If the greenies want to claim simply want people to live under the existing rules (a claim I've been hearing from them since the 1970's), let's make a deal: Let's all operate under the EPA rules of 1976 (without all the "new" rules they've repeatedly lied about) or Let's all operate under the massive pile of job-killing rules that existed the day Obama was sworn-in with a permanent ban on ANY new rules. I'm sure neither proposal would be OK, because the idea that there would EVER be a limit to the new rules the left wants to apply to the US economy is anithetical to those activists; their goal is NOT environmental (they NEVER insist on demolishing their big liberal bastions like NYC and San Francisco and returning THOSE places to "nature") their goal is to make the US economy fail sufficiently that they can offer the American people a "lifeline" in the form of Socialism (acompanied by permanent left-wing political control).

Re:Non News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47192271)

Maybe you should move to one of those countries, the lack of any regulations at all leading to slums with open sewers and toxic waste dumped in the open would presumably suit you just fine.

Re:Non News (2)

kimvette (919543) | about 5 months ago | (#47193227)

This regulation makes sense because it holds companies responsible and avoids further polluting an environment we've already damaged.

Contrast that to idiots who want to block off-shore wind farms because it's "unsightly as I cruise in my yacht" and avoid new LNG depots because of unsightly tanks and extending gas pipelines to small towns despite it being a greener option than burning diesel to heat homes.

Re:Non News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193245)

Shoot, 99% of environmental groups would have a problem if you disturb one blade of grass or one teaspoon of dirt.

Just like 99% of libertarians have a problem with it being illegal to dump radioactive waste in playgrounds. (This strawman game is fun, isn't it?)

aren't regulations so wonderful (1)

johnwerneken (74428) | about 5 months ago | (#47191547)

and so conducive to progress! LOL

This is what discourages US business (0)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about 5 months ago | (#47191569)

Paperwork not the pay.

Re:This is what discourages US business (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47191851)

-1 offtopic. Sheesh.

Re:This is what discourages US business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47192163)

"Insiightful" my ass. There is just as much paperwork to deal with in outsourcing overseas and re-importing. The savings are in primary labor costs

It's always about the bottom line.

of course the environmentalists are against it (0)

ganjadude (952775) | about 5 months ago | (#47191589)

Environment Texas still opposes the space port since it is close to a wild life reserve and a state park. SpaceX has already agreed to enact measures to minimize the impact the space port would have on the environment,

I always see environmentalists telling others how to live, but i never see environmentalists living off the land themselves

Re:of course the environmentalists are against it (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#47191633)

I wonder if these environmentalists have ever been to Florida. Where they launch lots of rockets. Where they launch rockets right next to a wildlife preserve [fws.gov] .

Re:of course the environmentalists are against it (2)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 5 months ago | (#47191673)

I wonder if these environmentalists have ever been to Florida. Where they launch lots of rockets. Where they launch rockets right next to a wildlife preserve [fws.gov] .

Pretty sure quite a few of them go there to watch and cheer, then go home and say "not here!"

Re:of course the environmentalists are against it (1)

meerling (1487879) | about 5 months ago | (#47191809)

The conservationists in Florida have often said the Launch Facility was an amazing boon for the wildlife.
The conservationists in Texas should be happy about the new spaceport for the benefits it'll bring for wildlife conservation.

Besides, I've lived in Texas, and it's not exactly an environmental gem in the first place. :P

Re:of course the environmentalists are against it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47192197)

Having worked performing primary monitoring and mitigation at a certain NASA/Military launch testing facility in Southern California, I can tell you with certainty that subterranean hydrazine plumes are certainly not a boon to wildlife, nor to the humans in the neighboring communities.

While responsible environmental stewardship by launch facilities is certainly possible, it's not a given. So what is the problem with ensuring that standard environmental review and mitigation planning are carried out?

Re:of course the environmentalists are against it (2)

Mabhatter (126906) | about 5 months ago | (#47192609)

as long as you don't have disasters, wildlife parks are great place for rocket launches. You want a buffer of several miles between the rockets and the rest of humans... which means 80% of the land is left wild like at Kennedy.

Re:of course the environmentalists are against it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47191707)

You don't have to live off the land to appreciate that some level of protection of the environment is reasonable. I've given money to various aggressive environmental groups. I am however pro space port. One of the challenges to our survival of a species is to get off this planet, however doing so in a way that destroys the ecosystem we need to survive as a species is not a balanced tradeoff.

Re:of course the environmentalists are against it (2)

tomhath (637240) | about 5 months ago | (#47191793)

Most "environmentalist" concerns are NIMBY concerns.

Re:of course the environmentalists are against it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47192245)

Citation, please?

Oh wait, you don't have one.

Re:of course the environmentalists are against it (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about 5 months ago | (#47200613)

Citation? I don't keep that sort of thing in my backyard, sorry. My cousin has a couple on blocks in his though, so maybe you should bother him.

Re:of course the environmentalists are against it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47192051)

I worked for a company that sold Windows. In California, you're only allowed to install doubles pan glass in new windows unless it's a historic house. But guess what we get these rich "environmentalists" who some how have obtained special permission to go with single pane windows in a new house. Now we didn't offer any single pane options because there just was enough of market. So we even tried to convince them to go with the double pan since we offered a life time warranty against inter glass condensation. But no that would ruin their precious view with the glare from two panes of glass. It was a good laugh for everyone around the office. Wish I could remember who or what organization they where involved with.

Re:of course the environmentalists are against it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47192095)

I always see environmentalists telling others how to live, but i never see environmentalists living off the land themselves

That's because they blend in with the natural environment.

Re:of course the environmentalists are against it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47192749)

Well, it is pretty hard to see shit from less than a few feet away. But you can always smell them..

Re:of course the environmentalists are against it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193285)

I suspect it's your upper lip you're smelling, what with all the shit you talk and brown-nosing the ole corporate bunghole.

Re:of course the environmentalists are against it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193261)

I always see environmentalists telling others how to live, but i never see environmentalists living off the land themselves

I always see corporations and rich individuals telling others how to live, and people usually don't have any choice but to obey because they need income. But I guess you live in some other world where your life is under constant assault by hippies. That or you're just another rich, arrogant bastard who thinks your having to follow rules against poisoning other people is some kind of tyrannical imposition.

Re:of course the environmentalists are against it (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47194055)

I always see environmentalists telling others how to live, but i never see environmentalists living off the land themselves

That's because the ones that are living off the land are too busy to slashdot, and you don't get out much.

Shades of the Massachusetts' State Fire Marshall (1)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 5 months ago | (#47191671)

the Massachusetts' State Fire Marshall, an early form of busybody bureaucrat, forced Goddard to move and this is merely a continuance of that grand governmet tradition.

Re:Shades of the Massachusetts' State Fire Marshal (3, Informative)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 5 months ago | (#47191713)

the Massachusetts' State Fire Marshall, an early form of busybody bureaucrat, forced Goddard to move and this is merely a continuance of that grand governmet tradition.

Correction: my bad. The fire marshall only forced Goddard to move onto a military base, before he moved a few years later to New Mexico.

Re:Shades of the Massachusetts' State Fire Marshal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47192303)

Well don't you look like an ass?

Correction: my bad. The fire marshall only forced Goddard to move onto a military base, before he moved a few years later to New Mexico.

The heavy hand (1, Redundant)

hallkbrdz (896248) | about 5 months ago | (#47191683)

A great example of the heavy hand of government.

Amazing anything ever gets done in America.

The heavy hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47191827)

Fortunately, this is over Texas so if an under-regulated rocket crashes, it'll just kill the people onboard and some anti-regulation nutjobs on the ground.

I'm just glad I live far enough away that I'm not going to have to worry about being sprinkled with rocket fuel and or falling rockets.

Actually... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193355)

EVERY important industy and large-scale construction project in the US got started BEFORE the EPA, the FAA, and many other parts of the government were created. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

The aerospace industry pre-dates the FAA and the EPA. All the major defense companies pre-date them. Elon Musk's SpaceX is extremely unique in being created after all those agencies existed - all it took for his success was: [a] a BILLIONARE with [2] far more drive and conviction than most people and [3] a focus on one product (a rocket) that part of the government NEEDED (for ISS resupply post-shuttle grounding) and even then SpaceX VERY NEARLY failed (there's video online of Musk talking about this). Had the government not NEEDED SpaceX to succeed, it would not have signed a contract with him and handed him piles of cash.... and then he WOULD have failed and there'd be NO examples of post-big-government aerospace success.

The computer industry similarly pre-dates all the big government regulations. When the Apple II rolled-off the assembly line, it (like the Radio Shack TRS-80's, the IMSAI kits, the KIM kits, etc) was NOT subject to all the limits on things like lead or electronic emissions certifications. The industry we have today could not have been started under the current regulations... so it could not have grown to become big-enough to withstand the regulations we currently have.

The interstate highway system, all the nation's big science facilities (like the Kennedy Space Center, the Stennis Space Center, Edwards AFB) many vital bits of infrastructure like the Hoover Dam and St Lawrence Seaway, the transcontinental rail routes, etc ALL pre-date the bloated government and its insane regulations.

The biggest problem with all these regulations is NOT even the regulations themselves (which often seem so reasonable when you read them in the abstract) but rather lies in the sort of people who end-up running the parts of government that enforce them: The government is full of LUNATICS playing with the "levers of power" who do not give a damn about the impact they are having on entire industries (and all the "little" people who depend on those industries). The Obama administration has recently offered us several glimpses of these flunkies: former SecState Hillary Clinton ranting "What DIFFERENCE does it make!" in her testimony over the dead in benghazi, the guy interviewed about his role in the benghazi memos ("Dude, it's been like, two YEARS!"), and the bimbo at the state dept who just this past week indicated her fervent belief that she and her buddies in thier air conditioned offices in DC know mare about whether the recently re-patriated POW was a deserter than the guy's own platoon members. NONE of the afore-mentioned idiots are runnng the EPA, but it's that SORT of person with that SORT of warped world-view that IS

Russians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47191815)

Did the Russians have this problems?

Russians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47195407)

No, but the Russians are probably a tad too far into the "unregulated" mindset. I think part of Kazakhstan roughly the size of New Jersey is permanently contaminate with radioactive materials. The problem we have isn't so much the regulations, but the moronic bureaucrats that are sometimes chosen to enforce them. For example in my area a few years ago some idiot dumped a few hundred gallons of motor oil into a shallow creek, our states DEQ officials demanded the county immediately throw straw into the area to soak up the oil. After an actual environmental cleanup crew was able to get on site they said that using straw to soak up the oil was the stupidest thing that could have been done, it took a few hundred gallons of oil that could have been easily sucked up and disposed of into tons of straw/water/oil contaminated sludge that had to be dug out and trucked off. Regulations are necessary, but they should be streamlined, extremely limited and enforced by someone who knows what they are talking about and will be held accountable for their mistakes.

Mexico (2)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about 5 months ago | (#47192141)

Would probably approve this in 24 hours.

Re:Mexico (1)

CmdrTamale (3528239) | about 5 months ago | (#47198561)

Subject to approval by Los Zetas?
Could this be reverse DeLorean?
Cocaine in space!
What could go wrong?

Texas has regulations? (2)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 5 months ago | (#47192665)

More seriously, I have always wondered why NASA didn't set up its Apollo-era launch facilities in Brownsville to begin with. It's as far south as you can get in the lower 48, it has open water to the west, and it doesn't have that terrible Florida weather that kept delaying every launch. Also unlike Florida, it would have been not nearly so far from the Houston command center.

Re:Texas has regulations? (1)

AJWM (19027) | about 5 months ago | (#47193127)

Cuba.

A launch from Florida (in an easterly direction) doesn't look like it might be an attack on Cuba; a launch from south Texas does (or could). The political and technical situations are a bit different today.

Also, spreading the pork around to multiple states/congressional districts. Texas got the facility in Houston.

Oh, and what open water is to the west of Brownsville? ;-)

Re:Texas has regulations? (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 5 months ago | (#47193163)

Sorry, that was supposed to be 'east'. All launches take place in that direction to get the free boost from Earth's rotation.

Any danger to Cuba from Brownsville would be as great a danger to Florida - but are both places not decently out of range at that distance?

Re:Texas has regulations? (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 5 months ago | (#47194769)

I think he was meaning that a launch being seen as a potential missile attack on Cuba. Launching a rocket from the east coast of Florida wouldn't take the flight path in the same general vicinity over Havana. Remember that when Kennedy Space Center was built, it was only a few years after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Then again, I guess Texas could also launch an attack on Florida. Hopefully Florida would retaliate in time to destroy Texas before itself was destroyed. The country would just sit back, watch, and enjoy the show. No matter the result, the nation would be better of in the end.

Re:Texas has regulations? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 5 months ago | (#47194445)

" Also unlike Florida, it would have been not nearly so far from the Houston command center."
Cape Canaveral pre-dates NASA in Houston. You see mission control was in Florida for Mercury and Gemini and was moved because... LBJ had some buddies that would make a lot of money if Mission control was moved to Houston. The Eastern Test Range which is what NASA uses for the Cape was already set up and working long before Houston Control.
It is also not as far south as you can get in the lower 48, that would have been Key West and their was a navy base their but logistics would have been terrible.

Re:Texas has regulations? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 5 months ago | (#47197725)

More seriously, I have always wondered why NASA didn't set up its Apollo-era launch facilities in Brownsville to begin with. It's as far south as you can get in the lower 48, it has open water to the west, and it doesn't have that terrible Florida weather that kept delaying every launch. Also unlike Florida, it would have been not nearly so far from the Houston command center.

Because Brownsville doesn't have as much open water to the East (the direction of interest) as Cape Canaveral does, nor does it have a convenient chain of islands to the East upon which to locate telemetry gathering antennas, and (most importantly)... locating at Brownsville wouldn't have allowed them to piggyback on the built up infrastructure the Eastern Test Range already possessed.

Re:Texas has regulations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199389)

More Texas bigotry.

I'm amazed I can still fart (1)

Snotnose (212196) | about 5 months ago | (#47192713)

without some regulator from somewhere trying to stick a "out of compliance" tag on my ass

Re:I'm amazed I can still fart (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 5 months ago | (#47193031)

without some regulator from somewhere trying to stick a "out of compliance" tag on my ass

Well geeze man, they have been known to kill a bullfrog at 40 paces and strip the paint off your neighbor's house.

Your amazement may be short-lived (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193373)

The SCOTUS has approved the EPA's new insistence that they can regulate CO2 and Methane. There are already proposed rules for regulations on, and taxes of, cow farts. Given that there's no significant legal difference between cow farts and human farts, the Obama administration (the FIRST ever to push regulations this far) has set a legal precedent that makes the eventual regulation and taxation of human farts not only inevitable but eventually legally required (because otherwise the rules being planned for deployment against farmers would fail as "arbitrary" and "capricious"). Of course, middle-class American parents will be likely to have to pay for their kid's farts (and the farts of "the poor") up until the age of 26... (and illegal aliens will be allowed to fart for free)

Fart freely now, while you still can... eventually you might have to buy "carbon-offsets" and/or "methane-offsets" from Al Gore's carbon offset trading company.

Wait a second (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 5 months ago | (#47193021)

Shouldn't the Spaceport be in the US?

Merritt Island (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193075)

>Environment Texas still opposes the space port since it is close to a wild life reserve and a state park.

Someone should tell Environment Texas that the Kennedy Space Center is smack dab in the middle of Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, and adjacent to the Canaveral National Seashore.

Idiots.

what? (2)

thexfile (3221535) | about 5 months ago | (#47193169)

When did Texas start believing in science?

A speed limit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193259)

Any speed limit below escape velocity is going to make the spaceport pretty useless.

I consider myself an environmentalist, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193279)

What SpaceX is doing, and what it plans to do in the future, is too important to the whole world to be held up by any but the most obvious environmental concerns. In other words, obviously they should have to show they're not going to be making the local water or air supply toxic. But beyond that, the sea turtles will just have to make do with whatever happens, because SpaceX is literally the most important thing in human history since the Apollo Program. I'd wipe out a thousand reptile species to see it succeed expeditiously.

Why not just go to Mexico? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47194731)

With all the red tape foisted upon anyone who wants to accomplish anything in the US, why not just pick up and move the whole thing to Mexico? It's easily accessible to the US, and there is oh-so-much less red tape.

SpaceX in TX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47196053)

Why would SpaceX even bother? New Mexico already has a spaceport built, use that.

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