Elon Musk has raised eyebrows lately after teasing on social media the possibility that he might build his own city in South Texas near SpaceX’s Boca Chica launch site. And that site has already been the source of controversy after a SpaceX rocket exploded in March.
Local officials and activists in the Rio Grande Valley are concerned that these launches are harming the environment, and that further expansion of the company in South Texas could increase gentrification.
Gaige Davila, a writer and editor of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, told Texas Standard that activists have been warning about the potential negative impacts of SpaceX’s presence in the area since 2014.
“What [activists] are now saying is that not only could these test launches and this attempted expansion of SpaceX into what they’re calling ‘Starbase’ … is that not only could it impact the environment there but it could impact cities like the Laguna Madre area which consists of South Padre Island, Port Isabel, Laguna Vista, Laguna Heights, but also into Brownsville,” Davila said.
Highlights from this segment:
– Clean up after a SpaceX launch requires the coordination of federal, state and local agencies to protect sensitive environmental areas.
– Activists are also concerned that expansion of SpaceX will lead to gentrification and force some locals out of the community.
– The controversy over SpaceX is forcing Brownsville and other nearby cities to grapple with the potential effects of gentrification if Musk’s Starbase city is built.