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?