LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - A national environmental group is continuing efforts to halt the $5.6 billion expansion at Cheniere Energy's liquefied natural gas facility at Sabine Pass in Cameron Parish.
San Francisco-based Sierra Club filed petitions with the U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday in opposition to the company being granted clearance to begin constructing the facility, which will enable Sabine Pass Liquefaction to export LNG on the international market.
The Sierra Club decided to battle federal regulators over all applications from companies interested in selling LNG. Complaints have also been filed against Sempra Energy's Cameron LNG facility.
Deborah Nardone, Sierra's director of the Beyond Natural Gas campaign, said the group is interested in seeing regulations imposed on the country's LNG industry.
The environmental group contends that technology like hydraulic fracturing - a process that uses a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals to extract natural gas and oil - leads to air and water contamination.
"We should have adequate protections before exporting gas to China. The natural gas industry does not have to prove or not prove impacts nor jump through additional safeguards that every other industry in the country have to abide by," she said.
On Aug. 8, the U.S. Department of Energy gave Sabine Pass Liquefaction authority to proceed with its project. In its report, the agency wrote, "On the basis of the environmental assessment, DOE has determined that granting the application of Sabine Pass for authority to export LNG, subject to the environmental conditions imposed on Sabine Pass that are set forth in the environmental assessment ... will not have a significant effect on the human environment. The preparation of an environmental impact statement, therefore, is not required and DOE is issuing this Finding of No Significant Impact."
Nardone said Sierra Club will continue fighting LNG companies and the government over every permit filed.
Sierra Club believes that arguing against LNG exporting is needed to push state and federal regulators to impose environmentally sound restrictions on the industry.
"First and foremost, we feel strongly in minimizing the amount of liquid natural gas produced. The country is looking at exporting a massive amount of gas and increase production significantly. We need environmental impact assessments," Nardone said.
Last month it was announced that China Investment Corp. and Singapore Investment Corp. invested $1 billion - $500 million each - in the Sabine Pass project, which is being spearheaded by Houston-based Cheniere Energy.
The facility, which is supposed to be operational by 2015, would be the country's first LNG-exporting business since 1969.
Information from: American Press
this is a retry by Sierra Club, they are wasting oodles of litigation money trying to block natgas drilling in the USA. Its twisted, anti american, anti business AND its counter productive to the environment.
Why don't they spend time working with Drillers, state regulators and INVEST some money to make natgas drilling safer and cleaner instead of fighting? Geez go buy some land for preserves, plant some trees, or fund R&D for biomethane and natgas fuel cells.
I implore people to TELL sierra club what you think of their stupid policies.
what does it hurt to have an environmental impact study done? We need to be sure that these technologies do no harm to our environment. Think about it....who will benefit from this and who will be harmed? End the hydrocarbon ADDICTION now. Think of future generations...in other words think beyond just your own wants and needs...we need a sustaining energy that does our environment NO HARM....for us and for future generations....
Sentiment: Strong Sell
Got to love the greenies. Get off oil pronto. Strictly utilize clean forms of energy that cause NO harm. Yup, it's that easy. Forget the fact that, rightly or wrongly, we've been an oil-based economy/society for more than a century and that the so-called viable energy alternatives are so expensive that they stand little chance of being adopted to a meaningful scale anytime soon. The quicker you realize that it will take decades to ween ourselves off of oil and that natural gas, while still one of those evil hydrocarbons, is a huge step in the right direction, the better off everyone will be. It's going to be a very lengthy process of many steps and not one giant leap. The Sierra Club often does more harm than good and if they doom nat gas such as they did the coal industry, our reliance on oil will only be reinforced and strengthened. You want out of the Middle East, to create tens of thousands of jobs, and strengthen a floundering economy??? Say hello to natural gas. It's the only energy alternative until solar, wind and whatever else you fancy can affordably be built-out on an enormous scale which is, you guessed it, decades away.