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US DOE rejects rehearing request for Cove Point LNG exports

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LNG Industry,

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has rejected a request by Sierra Club for a rehearing of DOE’s order that authorised Dominion Cove Point LNG to export 281 billion ft3/yr of LNG from its proposed terminal in Lusby, Maryland, US, over 20 years to countries without free trade agreements (FTAs) with the US.

On the rehearing, Sierra Club claimed that the environmental review of the export proposal did not comply with the National Environmental Policy Act because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) environmental assessment (EA), which was adopted by DOE, did not properly consider the indirect and cumulative impact of LNG exports. In addition to this, Sierra Club claimed that DOE should have taken the cumulative impact of drilling from all approved and pending non-FTA export projects into account, as part of the cumulative impact analysis. Nonetheless, this was rejected by DOE, which claimed that the footprint of the liquefaction project exists entirely within the Cove Point terminal, and that much of its land had been previously been disturbed by previous projects. It added that the environmental impact of the project would be minimal and well defined, and that natural gas production induced by the proposed project is not reasonably foreseeable.

In the order, DOE also claimed that Sierra Club had failed to demonstrate that exports from the facility would be against public interest.

Edited from various sources by David Rowlands

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