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Sierra Club files protest against Golden Pass LNG

LNG Industry,

Sierra Club has filed a protest with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) against the proposed Golden Pass LNG export terminal near Sabine Pass, Texas.

In the letter of opposition submitted to the FERC, Sierra Club stated:

“[The environmental review] must consider the effects of the natural gas drilling that would be induced by the operation of the Golden Pass LNG Export Project. As we will explain in our comments […] the environmental impacts of the Golden Pass LNG Export Project, including direct effects as well as the effects of induced production, demonstrate that the Golden Pass LNG Export Project is contrary to the public interest, convenience, and necessity, and that the applications must be denied.”

The letter added that the LNG project will “directly affect Sierra Club members throughout a wide swath of Texas. For example, air pollution emissions from the export terminal will affect Sierra Club members in the region […] members nationwide will be affected by the increased gas prices, greenhouse gas emissions, and other broad effects of the proposal.”

Project impacts

The main impacts of the project, as listed in the protest letter, are:

  • Direct impacts from the project site, including emission of air pollution, discharge of water pollution, disturbance of wetlands, impacts of increase shipping traffic, effects of all of the above on endangered species.
  • Indirect impacts related to the increase in domestic natural gas production that will result from exports from the LNG facility.
  • Indirect impacts related to increased domestic gas prices, including the increase in coal use in the electricity sector forecast by the EIA’s January 2012 LNG export study.
  • Indirect impacts caused by combustion of LNG in end-use or importing markets.

Sierra Club concluded that the Golden Pass LNG project will not deliver benefits that outweigh these impacts.

The FERC has, however, found Sierra Club’s previous protests against LNG export terminal projects to be unpersuasive.

Edited from various sources by Katie Woodward

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