Big LNG Projects Get Awaited Federal OKs, But With New Scrutiny
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved two large liquefied natural gas export terminal projects on the Texas Gulf coast in Brownsville after re-evaluating their impact on climate change and local communities, as ordered by a 2021 federal appeals court ruling. The approvals include the $11.5-billion Rio Grande LNG project, capable of producing 27 million metric tons per year, and the $2.4 billion, 135-mile Rio Bravo pipeline, to be built by Enbridge. The 4-million ton-per-year Texas LNG facility by Glenfarne Group LLC was also approved. The social cost of carbon emissions for the projects was calculated, and FERC broadened its evaluation of the projects’ effects on environmental justice communities. The projects will also have to file a plan ensuring that overlapping construction and operation of the projects do not exceed federal air quality standards based on cumulative impacts.