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While Texas Froze Part 4: LNG needs monitoring and regulation

When you look at how LNG oversight has been ignored at both federal and state levels of government, it is easy to see why so much gas from the Gulf Coast was shipped during one of the worst emergencies in Texas history.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which grants licenses to LNG facilities, has no legal authority to mandate where they send gas, even in dire situations such as Winter Storm Uri. Nor does the U.S. Department of Energy. Nor does the Texas Railroad Commission, regulator for the Texas gas industry. Nor does the Texas Public Utility Commission, regulator for the state's electric utility industry, or ERCOT, the main Texas electric independent systems operator.

Legal protection missing--Texas consumer protection laws explicitly prohibit price gouging during times of emergency. Likewise in 38 other states and Washington, DC. However, I'm not aware of any State of Texas legal action pending against the companies that made more than $11 billion in excessive gas profits during Winter Storm Uri and, indirectly, contributed to excessive electric costs amounting to as much as $39 billion. In fact, Texas residential customers of natural gas utilities will pay about $60 more a year for a decade to absorb those costs.

Environmental concerns

Profound environmental implications will result from increasing the use of LNG. In addition to localized harms from gas extraction, the process of creating LNG creates hazardous air pollutants and, in many situations, also increases greenhouse emissions.

Site air pollution--As example of environmental concerns of air emissions from LNG processing, on March 10, 2021, Corpus Christi-based Chloe Torres, Coastal Bend Fossil Fuel Exports organizer for Texas Campaign for the Environment, aimed her Twitter message at Robert Habeck, German federal minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Torres was alarmed that the Cheniere-Corpus Christi LNG plant, located close to where she lived, was applying for a permit to increase onsite air pollution from the plant's flares. This would add to the already pollution-burdened nearby neighborhoods inhabited by lower-income and minority households.  

As part of a collaboration with German environmental activists to stop a new LNG import facility in that country, Torres called on Habeck, "...not to sacrifice her community for the sake of importing climate hostile and devastating U.S. fracked-gas LNG to Germany."  Activists in Port Arthur and the Rio Grande Valley who challenged permits for new LNG terminals in these areas have made similar arguments.

Corpus Christi LNG Is An Environmental Injustice In Texas' Coastal Bend | Sierra Club |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 5th, 2022 at 07:15:02 AM EST

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