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FERC denies Sabine Pass rehearing

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LNG Industry,

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has announced that it has denied Sierra Club’s request for rehearing of the recent order to authorise Sabine Pass to site, construct and operate additional LNG facilities in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, US.

April 6 Order authorised Sabine Pass to construct and operate Trains 5 and 6 of the liquefaction project adjacent to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, as well as to expand Creole Trail’s interstate pipeline facilities. The expansion project would increase the LNG project’s total authorised production capacity from approximately 20 million tpy to 30 million tpy.

The authorised facilities include gas treatment facilities to remove and dispose of solids, carbon dioxide, sulfur, heavy hydrocarbons, water and mercury; waste heat recovery systems; and gas-fired compression for liquefaction and power generation.

The April 6 Order rejected Sierra Club’s protests in its finding of no significant impact under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and adoption of the conclusion of the Environmental Assessment (EA) that with implementation of appropriate mitigation the projects’ environmental impacts are acceptable.9 The April 6 Order concluded that if constructed and operated in accordance with the applications and in compliance with the order’s environmental conditions, the Commission’s approval of both projects would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

Sierra Club requested a rehearing, contending that the April 6 Order violated NEPA by failing to analyse the adverse environmental impacts from induced upstream gas production in the US and from downstream end-use of LNG in importing nations as indirect effects of the project. Sierra Club also held that the Order failed to consider the cumulative impacts of the project with other approved and pending LNG export projects, and failed to employ generally accepted methods for discussing the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions.

FERC rejected a number of Sierra Club’s arguments and assertions. It said that it had no jurisdiction to regulate upstream natural gas production, and it could not assume that the LNG terminal would lead to a rapid increase in new production.

Edited from press release by

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