FACT CHECK: Is proposed LNG terminal threat to bird species?

CLAIM: The Houston Chronicle today reported environmental groups have employed yet another tactic in their attempts to stop construction of Commonwealth LNG’s proposed export facility in Cameron, Louisiana:

Environmentalists plan to sue the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to protect a rare marsh bird whose coastal habitat is being lost to urbanization, agriculture, climate change and some say, the liquefied natural gas industry.

The Arizona-based Center For Biological Diversity and the New Orleans environmental group Healthy Gulf plan to sue the agency and U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to protect the eastern black rail, a shy marsh bird that can fit in the palm of the average person’s hand.


The Chronicle article is quick to point out that Commonwealth LNG is already working to address such concerns:

In a Jan. 30 letter to FERC, Commonwealth LNG said the proposed export terminal project will take less land than initially expected and that the company is willing to set aside land for the rail and other coastal bird species as well as limit construction activities during nesting seasons.

This legal challenge comes as environmentalists have continued to oppose the construction of several proposed LNG export facilities along the Gulf Coast in Texas. Projects like Commonwealth LNG and the proposed terminals in Texas provide new streams of tax revenue, support thousands of high-skilled jobs, and usher in new economic opportunities for the state and surrounding communities.

Further, as we have previously pointed out, investing in natural gas is key to strengthening our nation’s energy independence while reducing carbon emissions. The environmental benefits of natural gas are well known and documented.

  • Nearly one-fifth of total U.S. emissions savings since 2010 have been the result of coal-to-gas switching, according to the analysis, according to a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
  • Globally, the IEA said more than 500 million tons of CO2 emissions have been avoided in the past decade as a result of increased use of natural gas.
  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration says energy-related carbon emissions are about 13 percent below 2005 levels as a result of greater use of natural gas.