Environmental Policy News

FERC Approves Corpus Christi LNG Terminal

Plans by Cheniere Energy to proceed with building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico have been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). It is the first LNG project of its kind to gain FERC approval in the U.S.

“We conclude that, with the conditions required herein, Corpus Christi liquefaction’s project results in minimal environmental impacts and can be constructed and operated safely,” the FERC said.

Next, the US Department of Energy (DOE) will decide whether the terminal should be allowed to ship LNG to countries that don’t have free trade agreements with the United States. Now that Cheniere is the only company with FERC blessing, that decision is expected soon, meaning that construction of the terminal could begin early in 2015.

The finished terminal will have the capacity to liquefy and ship up to 15 million tons of LNG each year. Cheniere Energy estimates the project will cost an estimated $11.5 billion to complete. Cheniere says it already had found some customers, including EDF, the largest gas company in Portugal, which committed to buying about 8.4 million tons of gas per year from the terminal.

While LNG has been touted as a relatively clean solution for worldwide energy demand, as well as a job-creating boon to the US economy, some environmental groups (such as the Sierra Club) say exports would also lead to increased carbon emissions and controversial extraction techniques, such as hydro-fracturing.

For more information, visit www.ferc.gov/CalendarFiles/20141230184541-CP12-507-000.pdf.


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