Greens lose court battle on gas exports

lng portA federal appeals court rejected environmentalists’ claims against two liquefied natural gas export terminals on Tuesday, ensuring that the projects can move forward.

The Sierra Club had said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had erred in its environmental review when it approved the two projects in Texas and Louisiana.

The environmental group said the commission, the nation’s primary energy regulator, did not account for the cumulative impacts of increased fracking that would result from the approval of the export terminals.

But the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals slammed the environmental group’s argument, and said the commission followed the law and did not have to account for the additional impacts.

“The commission’s [environmental] analysis did not have to address the indirect effects of the anticipated export of natural gas,” the court’s decision stated on the Texas Freeport LNG facility. “That is because the Department of Energy, not the commission, has sole authority to license the export of any natural gas going through the Freeport facilities.” It made a similar assertion regarding a facility in Louisiana.

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