Big investments are taking place in liquified natural gas in Texas – and that means big news for the economy, national security and providing reliable, affordable energy in a way that lowers carbon emissions.
The Houston Chronicle reports that four major projects received regulatory approval:
Federal officials have approved permits for three new liquefied natural gas export terminals in the Rio Grande Valley and the expansion of another in Corpus Christi.
During a Thursday morning meeting, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Ron Chatterjee announced that the agency approved permits for Rio Grande LNG, Annova LNG and Texas LNG at the Port of Brownsville. The agency, he said, also approved the proposed expansion of Corpus Christi LNG at the Port of Corpus Christi.
These are significant projects that will have significant impacts on the region. First, the economic benefits:
The three Brownsville projects represent more than $38 billion of private investment, thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of high-paying permanent jobs in one of the poorest regions of the United States. Financial and jobs figures were not immediately available for the Corpus Christi expansion project.
With these projects, Texas is set to become the third largest exporter of liquified natural gas in the world, according to The Hayride. This will help the United States support our allies around the globe by supplying a reliable, affordable energy source, instead of forcing them to rely on other volatile sources for their energy needs.
Some environmental activists in Texas objected to the federal approval of the projects, claiming:
“Our communities are united in opposition to these dirty, dangerous projects, and we will continue to pursue all avenues – from the courts to pressuring financial institutions – to ensure they are never built.”
But this opposition is shortsighted and fails to realize the significant benefits provided by natural gas and its role in reducing carbon emissions, as demonstrated by a steady stream of scientific data:
- 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.
This is a massive investment for a small region in Texas, one that will have major benefits for Texans, the United States, our allies and our economy – all while helping reduce carbon emissions.