FERC poised to make permit decisions on four LNG export projects in Texas
By Sergio Chapa Published Saturday, November 16, 2019 chron.com
Federal regulators appear poised to make permit decisions on the applications submitted by four liquefied natural gas export terminals in Texas.
After more than three years of review, commissioners with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have placed permit decisions for the four projects on the agenda for the agency's Thursday morning meeting.
Three of the proposed projects are to build new LNG export terminals at the Port of Brownsville in the Rio Grande Valley while the fourth is for an expansion of Corpus Christi LNG, a South Texas export terminal owned by Houston liquefied natural gas company Cheniere Energy.
Houston liquefied natural gas companies NextDecade, Annova LNG and Texas LNG are seeking to build brand new export terminals along the Brownsville Ship Channel, which is located just a few miles away from the U.S./Mexico border.
As part of a planned third stage of expansion, Cheniere is seeking permission to add seven midscale LNG production units to its export terminal in nearby Corpus Christi.
If approved, all four projects would take natural gas from the Permian Basin of West Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas and others sources and then use massive plants to supercool the gas until it becomes a liquid that can be loaded on tankers and shipped to customers all over the world.
Citing safety and environmental concerns, the three Brownsville projects face stiff opposition from a coalition of environmentalists, Native Americans, shrimpers, fishermen and other opponents working under the banner of Save RGV From LNG.
Habitat for endangered species such as the ocelot, jaguardundi and aplomado falcon has remained a particularly thorny issue for the three Brownsville LNG projects.
Opponents argue that the proposed three LNG plants would undo decades of conservation efforts species, particularly in creating a viable wildlife corridor for them between the United States and Mexico.
As part of proposed mitigation efforts to secure their permits, the LNG companies have made a series of promises ranging from setting aside thousands of acres of land for wildlife conservation and using noise- and pollution-reducing equipment, among other measures.