Sierra Club Challenges TX Liquefied Natural Gas Export Facility

Files fourth challenge to LNG export facilities nationwide

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–April 16, 2012.  The Sierra Club filed a formal protest to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) late Friday, challenging a proposal to export billions of cubic feet of domestic natural gas from a facility near Freeport, TX. The Sierra Club’s challenge was filed as natural gas companies are rushing to secure liquefied natural gas (LNG) export licenses before DOE releases studies on the effects of exporting as much as a fifth of the domestic gas supply – and the public health and environmental damage caused by increased fracking.

“Exporting natural gas is bad for Texas and bad for America,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. “Exporting LNG requires increased natural gas production and more unsafe fracking, making a dirty fuel more dangerous and putting more American families in at risk.”

“Fracking for natural gas significantly impacts water and air quality in Texas. Air pollution from all three current major Texas shale plays impact areas which either already fail, or are in danger of failing, to meet the requirements of the Federal Clean Air Act,” said Dewayne Quertermous, Sierra Club Lonestar Chapter member. “An export facility would increase these impacts by increasing production in the shale plays. Additionally, the facility is sited in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria non-attainment area, which already fails to meet the requirements of the Federal Clean Air Act. Adding the significant air pollution of an LNG export facility would only make the situation worse.”

The Sierra Club’s challenge shows that the Freeport export proposal would lead to increased air and water pollution in Texas and cause economic harm for the country. The filing calls for a full Environmental Impact Statement by the DOE to study the extent of this proposed facility’s environmental damages before DOE makes any final decisions. Weighing these threats is particularly important because the oil and gas industry currently exploits numerous loopholes from federal safeguards, which put the health and safety of Americans at risk.

This filing joins others before DOE and other regulatory bodies, opposing export facilities at Cove Point, Maryland, Sabine Pass, Louisiana, and Coos Bay, Oregon.

A link to the Freeport, TX filing can be found here: LINK.