Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff said the agency will issue an environmental assessment for the Capacity Uprate Project of Freeport LNG Development LP and affiliates on March 31 [CP15-518] (see Daily GPI, Nov. 14, 2014). The deadline for a decision on federal authorization of the project is June 29. Freeport seeks to amend its existing authorization for its liquefied natural gas project in Brazoria County near Freeport, TX. The Uprate Project would allow for the liquefaction and export of an additional 0.34 Bcf/d of natural gas.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts rejected a plea by 20 states to block the Environmental Protection Agency‘s (EPA) plans to limit mercury and other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants, a win for the Obama administration. Last June, the Supreme Court ruled against the Obama administration in the case, saying EPA failed to adequately consider the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) rule’s costs to industry (see Daily GPI, June 29, 2015). That decision reversed an earlier decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and sent MATS back to EPA for further consideration of the costs to industry. The circuit court was also instructed to determine whether MATS should remain in effect while EPA conducts its analysis. In December, an appeals court ruled that the MATS rule could remain in place as EPA works to bring the proposed regulation in line with the Supreme Court ruling (see Daily GPI, Dec. 15, 2015). EPA said Thursday it will finalize a supplemental consideration of MATS costs in April in response to the Supreme Court’s June 2015 decision.

Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd. has struck an agreement to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) sourced from the Cameron LNG terminal in Louisiana (see Daily GPI, Sept. 30, 2015) from Diamond International Pte. Ltd., a unit of Mitsubishi Corp. Tokyo Gas plans to buy about 200,000 tons per year at a price linked to the Henry Hub. The agreement is to run for about 19 years starting in 2020 and represents three cargoes per year delivered ex-ship. “From 2020 onward, Tokyo Gas will purchase around 2.12 million tons of LNG per year at a price linked to the Henry Hub price to achieve further diversification of LNG sources, price indices and destinations,” it said in announcing the Diamond Gas deal.