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Consider Foreign GHG Emissions From U.S. LNG Exports, EPA Tells FERC

The Region 6 office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is still not satisfied with FERC's review of the Corpus Christi Liquefaction LLC export terminal and associated pipeline in Texas.

EPA has said again, this time in its comments on the project's final environmental impact statement (FEIS), that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should weigh the impact of increased gas production induced by liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. FERC should also consider the greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts that stem from consuming exported U.S. gas in foreign markets.

"...[W]e disagree with your assertion in the final EIS that 'the impacts of end use in foreign, likely nonadjacent, countries is beyond the scope of a project proposed within the United States and evaluated under NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] and CEQ [Council on Environmental Quality] regulations,'" EPA Region 6 in Dallas told FERC in its comments [CP12-507, CP12-508].

"Because of the global nature of climate change, even where the ultimate end use of the natural gas occurs outside the U.S., additional greenhouse gas emissions attributable to the project would affect the U.S.," EPA said. "Consistent with NEPA and CEQ regulations, because any such emissions will contribute to climate change impacts in the U.S., it is appropriate to consider and disclose them in the EIS due to their reasonably close causal relationship to the project."

The Region 6 office also reiterated its argument that emissions and other consequences of gas production induced by export demand be considered (see Daily GPIAug. 11). "We continue to believe that a conceptual-level discussion of possible impacts from increased production due to proposed facilities would be useful for decision makers and the public.”

The export terminal slated for Corpus Christi is Cheniere Energy Inc.'s second, and its first greenfield project.

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