We’re all connected

Texas House Insurance Committee Chairman John Smithee has made many of his fellow Texans along the Gulf Coast angry.

They have a point.

Smithee, R-Amarillo, has told coastal residents that windstorm insurance costs should be borne by them alone. Panhandle residents don’t have a dog in that hunt, he has suggested with legislation that observers say will make it virtually impossible for coastal homeowners to insure their homes and businesses.

As a former Gulf Coast resident, I feel their pain.

Nick Jiminez, editorial page editor of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, noted in a column that the Texas economy is intertwined tightly, that the entire state relies on the coast. The petrochemical complex stretching from Beaumont and Port Arthur to Corpus Christi, he writes while referring to a Perryman Group study, provides 87 percent of Texas’ refined petroleum products. “Every Panhandle farmer with a tractor that runs on diesel or an Amarillo business that depends on goods moved through Texas ports has a stake in reasonable insurance rates for the coast,” Jiminez writes.

Touche, my opinion-writing brother.

We’re all Texans, right? Right?

0 thoughts on “We’re all connected”

  1. yes, john. we are all texans. outstanding observation.why don’t the folks downstate turn away new mexico’s money and demand the appropriate release of water from ute lake? i mean, we’re all texans, right?do you mean to tell us that those evil oil companies- with their record profits- cannot cope with the cost of hurricane damage?the message should be clear: if you choose to develop in the path of nature’s wrath, do so at your own risk – AND EXPENSE.do our local farmers and ranchers benefit equally as gulf-coasters whenever meteorological conditions are not favorable for them? do gulf-coasters proportionately reimburse our agriculture industry when we experience drought?

  2. Mr. K: I have never said that windstorm “costs” should be borne by coastal residents alone. Rignt now, I am trying to pay about $1 billion in insurance and other costs out of the state revenue that all of us contribute to. What I am saying is that the Coast must do its part as well–and start paying its fair share. I am also trying to make sure that if another hurricane does hit this year, we have the cash available to replace roofs and do repairsright now we have zero.“The Panhandle doesn’t have a dog in this fight????” Who do you think pays for the subsidized insurance rates on the Coast? My constitutents and I do. I represent many people who are struggling just to buy homeowners insurance. It is not fair to penalize them so that some million-plus dollar home built on the sand or a strip-club on the coast can pay an unrealistic, subsidized insurance rate (right now we are subsidizing both). Other than these gripes, you’re still an OK guy. John Smithee

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