CLAIM: Environmental activists are asking federal regulators to reconsider permits for significant economic development in Texas, claiming FERC “failed to take a hard look at the impacts” of the projects:
The Sierra Club and several other opponents of three proposed liquefied natural gas export terminals at the Port of Brownsville are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider permits that the agency recently awarded for the controversial projects.
In three separate Christmas Eve filings, the Sierra Club and other opponents of Rio Grande LNG, Annova LNG and Texas LNG asked for a rehearing on the agency’s Nov. 21 decision that gave permits to all three projects.
Opponents argue that FERC commissioners failed to take a hard look at the impacts the projects would have on other industries in the region, air pollution, water quality, endangered species, a historic Native American site, neighbors living near the proposed plants and the impacts the export terminals could potentially have on climate change.
As we have noted previously, the projects in Texas will bring thousands of jobs, strengthen our nation’s energy independence and support the use of liquified natural gas, which has helped reduce carbon emissions.
The environmental benefits are well known and well documented. They include:
- 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.
- This trend is expected to continue in 2019, with the EIA predicting natural gas to help drive a 2 percent decrease in energy-related carbon emissions.
The economic benefits of the project have been well reported as well:
- With these projects, Texas is set to become the third largest exporter of liquified natural gas in the world, according to The Hayride.
- The Brownsville projects represent more than $38 billion of private investment, according to the Houston Chronicle.
- The projects will support thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of high-paying permanent jobs in an area critically in need of those jobs.
- Natural gas is expected to be exported to the Caribbean, Central America, Asia and Europe – providing a reliable supply of energy from the United States, rather than depending on geopolitical adversaries.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission made the correct decision in issuing the permits, as the benefits to Texas, the United States, our allies and the environment are clear.