The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is not required to examine the upstream impacts of natural gas development when reviewing the environmental impacts of new liquefied natural gas export facilities under the National Environmental Policy Act. Instead, the court said that if any agency should examine upstream impacts, it would be the Department of Energy, which has to approve LNG exports. The case involved two LNG terminals on the Gulf Coast, one in Sabine Pass, Louisiana and the other in Freeport, Texas. The D.C. Circuit is also reviewing challenges to Maryland’s Cove Point LNG terminal but has not yet ruled in that case.Basically, this was an attempt to get FERC to rule against natural gas exports based on the imaginary environmental problems of fracking. Of course, the real problem is that they don't like any energy development that's not wind or solar. I'm sure they'll find some other angle from which to try to kill it.
Charlie Riedl, executive director of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, said the rulings “make clear” that the current environmental review process is complete when it comes to LNG exports.
“The consequence of these rulings is that the US LNG industry will continue to grow – creating jobs, tax revenue and economic growth across the country,” Riedl said in a statement. “Additionally, studies have shown that US LNG exports help promote the use of natural gas by our allies and trading partners, which, in turn, helps to lower global greenhouse gas emissions.”
The challenge was brought by the Sierra Club, which did not respond to request for comment.