Setting of the Point Comfort Plant


Calhoun County, a rural yet highly industrialized county on the Gulf Coast of Texas, 150 miles south of Houston, 240 miles north of the Mexican border. It is the ancestral lands of the Karankawa, Esto’k Gna (Carrizo/Comecrudo), and Coahuiltecan (Native Land 2021).

Today, Karankawa further down the coast (in Ingleside, near Corpus Christi) are suing the US Army Corps of Engineers for granting a dredging permit to Enbridge, Inc., a multinational pipeline company also at the center of high-profile Indigenous-led pipeline protests – known as the Stop Line 3 protests – in Minnesota, on the US-Canadian border (Karankawas 2022). The dredging permit on Karankawa territory would allow Enbridge to build an oil export terminal, tapping the new abundance of oil available from West Texas, produced with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies that make it affordable to access “tight” oil and gas in shale rock formations. The “shale revolution” really took off in the mid-2000s, dramatically shifting both global energy markets and environmentalists' talk about the coming “end of oil”.

By 2022, there were plans up and down the Gulf Coast to build both oil and gas export terminals (Halper 2022).


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Contributed date

June 10, 2022 - 8:25pm

Critical Commentary

This is a response to the analytic question What is the setting of this plant? from the set Analyzing an Industrial Plant.

Cite as

Tim Schütz, James Adams, Diane Wilson and Kim Fortun, "Setting of the Point Comfort Plant", contributed by Tim Schütz, James Adams, Diane Wilson and Kim Fortun, Project: Formosa Plastics Global Archive, Disaster STS Network, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 11 June 2022, accessed 13 August 2022.