Opposition to LNG terminals

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{{#badges: FrackSwarm|Navbar-fracking}} As of 2012, the United States is the world's largest gas producer, recently surpassing Russia. U.S. gas producers are pressing the U.S. government to give the green light for LNG exports to Asia and Europe, to access growing markets for natural gas at higher prices.[1]

Gas is typically shipped via pipeline, but is impractical for reaching markets outside North America. LNG terminals super-chill gas to its liquid form and load it under extreme pressure into specially designed tankers for shipment overseas. Once at its destination, LNG must be re-gasified before it can be fed into pipelines for local distribution. The whole process can add up to multi-billion dollar projects.[2]

By 2012, thirteen companies in the U.S. had filed applications with the Energy Department to export more than 17 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day,[3] a number that increased to 15 companies in 2013. If all 15 company proposals were approved, they could export the equivalent of more than a third of U.S. domestically consumed natural gas.[4] Large Asian economies such as India, Japan, South Korea, and China are signing long-term contracts for gas imports.[1]

Protests and actions against LNG terminals


Southern LNG

The Sierra Club requested FERC a more extensive analysis of the environmental effects of Savannah's Southern LNG's export expansion in an Environmental Impact Statement. If FERC agrees to that analysis, it could delay the project several years.[5]

Local Sierra Club members have voiced opposition to 10,000 truck deliveries per month for the first six months of Southern LNG's construction. Truck traffic will taper off, but continue for the two years it will take for construction.[6]

The facility will need deliveries of chemical refrigerants to run the process that takes methane from its gaseous form and cools it to make it liquid. Other trucks will remove the chemical by-products of this process.[7]


Cameron LNG

Environmental groups, Gulf Restoration Network, RESTORE, and Sierra Club, in 2014 filed a request for rehearing and stay of FERC’s order granting authority to Cameron LNG to construct the proposed facility. They charged that FERC’s environmental analysis failed to adequately consider the effects of increased gas production and air pollution, as well as effect on nearby wetlands.[8]


Cove Point LNG

May 30, 2015 about 200 people marched from Solomons Island to the Cove Point LNG in spite of all the LNG's permits approved and construction in progress.[9]

The owners and operators of the Cove Point LNG plant won another court victory in Calvert County in February 2016. The environmental group, Accokeek, Mattawoman, Piscataway Creeks Communities Council, petitioned a judicial review of the Maryland Public Service Commission’s authorization of Cove Point still under construction. The Accokeek, Mattawoman, Piscataway lawyer told BayNet he would appeal [10]

A local group LNG opposition group, We Are Cove Point, announced in February 2016 it is throwing a nine-day event called “Cove Point Spring Break.” [11]


Jordan Cove LNG

On December 7, 2015, dozens of activists protested outside a State Land Board meeting in Salem, Oregon along with local oyster growers who argued that the proposed Jordan Cove LNG and connecting pipeline would damage oyster beds in Coos Bay, along the Oregon coast. Protesters claimed that 157 miles of the pipeline would cross private property, and as a result around 700 individual private properties could be seized through eminent domain. The Oregon Department of State Lands is one of several state agencies that can deny permits for both the proposed pipeline and the LNG terminal in Coos Bay.[12]

In March 2016, FERC rejected Jordan Cove, Pacific Connector Pipeline, and its feeder pipeline that would have stretch across the state, saying applicants had not demonstrated any demand for LNG, which means lack of need for the facility. Jordan Cove demand was based on customers in Asia. Those natural gas markets are in upheaval.[13]

This is the first time FERC has rejected a pipeline.[14]

Jordan Cove is allowed to reapply.

Oregon LNG

Oregon LNG is opposed by a number of groups, e.g. The Columbia Riverkeeper and Rising Tide who support reduced pollution, non-fossil fuel, renewable energy sources. The pipeline is also opposed by certain landowners who object to eminent domain laws that would force them to have pipelines buried on their properties. In 2011 the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2700, which streamlined the permitting of such linear facilities amid a great deal of citizen objections and protests.

Local and state agencies, and tribes recently submitted detailed comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), and to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality that describe why Oregon LNG’s project would violate environmental laws. Over two dozen fishing, landowner, community safety, and conservation organizations joined Columbia Riverkeeper on these comments.

In March 2016 a lawyer for the city of Warrenton in Clatsop County denied the Oregon LNG company's application for a permit to build the facility.[15]

Clatsop County has also denied permits for the feeder pipeline, which throws into question its ability to secure state land use approvals.[16]

The project is also in a dispute over its lease with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.[17] Oregon LNG had filed suit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but withdrew it January 2016.[18] Corps claim it has nearly 60-year-old rights to the property. The builders of Oregon LNG claim the Corps abandoned the property.

British Columbia

Pacific NorthWest LNG

In November 2015 members of the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation camped at the site of the proposed LNG facility to prevent further research.

"We want to make sure nothing gets contaminated or in the way natural habitat, whether it's salmon or shellfish or eelgrass," said Clifford White, chief councillor of the Gitxaala First Nation.[19]

The Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition and other groups have raised concerns about the risk to salmon habitat on Flora Bank, an area located next to Lelu Island, which could be impacted by the LNG port.[20]

Opponents claim approving Pacific Northwest will make it impossible for B.C. and Canada to meet new emissions reduction standards. Running the plant would release 5.28 million tons of carbon dioxide a year.[21]

More than 130 scientists questioned the science behind the CEAA environmental assessment of the proposed Pacific Northwest LNG. These fish and wildlife biologists from Canada, the U.S., and Norway made their concerns in a joint letter. Of primary concern is the salmon. "You couldn't find a worse location to develop in terms of risks to fish. The CEAA report does not acknowledge that this LNG proposal is located on critical habitat of Canada's second largest wild salmon watershed", said a representative of the Skeena Fisheries Commission."The CEAA draft report for the Pacific Northwest LNG project is a symbol of what is wrong with environmental decision-making in Canada," the letter states[22]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Joel Kirkland, "NATURAL GAS: U.S. throws open doors to LNG exports with Cheniere approval," E&E, April 17, 2012.
  2. Steve Gelsi, "Shale gas opens door to U.S. LNG exports," Energia a Debata, April 17, 2012.
  3. Hannah Northey, "ENERGY POLICY: Wyden, Markey call on Obama to develop export policies," E&E, June 1, 2012.
  4. Clifford Krauss and Nelson Shwartz, "Foreseeing Trouble in Exporting Natural Gas," NY Times, Aug 15, 2013.
  5. Mary Landers, "Kinder Morgan construction plans at Elba include 10,000 trucks per month," Savannah Now, October 16, 2015.
  6. Mary Landers, "Kinder Morgan construction plans at Elba include 10,000 trucks per month," Savannah Now, October 16, 2015.
  7. Mary Landers, "Kinder Morgan construction plans at Elba include 10,000 trucks per month," Savannah Now, October 16, 2015.
  8. "Environmental Groups Challenge Cameron LNG FERC Order; Cameron LNG Says Too Late" LNGLawBlog.com, Jul 24, 2014.
  9. Marty Madden, "When Police Harass Cove Point Protesters, Is Dominion Getting What It Paid for?," Truthout, June 8, 2015.
  10. Marty Madden, "Court rules in favor of gas plant operators," BayNet, February 21, 2016.
  11. Marty Madden, "Court rules in favor of gas plant operators," BayNet, February 21, 2016.
  12. "Oyster growers protest proposed LNG pipeline" Tracy Loew, Statesman Journal, December 8, 2015.
  13. Ted Sickinger, "Feds reject Jordan Cove LNG terminal," The Oregonian, March 11, 2016.
  14. Ted Sickinger, "Feds reject Jordan Cove LNG terminal," The Oregonian, March 11, 2016.
  15. Ted Sickinger, "Feds reject Jordan Cove LNG terminal," The Oregonian, March 11, 2016.
  16. Ted Sickinger, "Feds reject Jordan Cove LNG terminal," The Oregonian, March 11, 2016.
  17. Ted Sickinger, "Feds reject Jordan Cove LNG terminal," The Oregonian, March 11, 2016.
  18. Ted Sickinger, "Oregon LNG withdraws lawsuit against Army Corps of Engineers," The Oregonian, January 11, 2016.
  19. "Lelu Island LNG project divides First Nations as protest continues" Daybreak North, CBC News, November 12, 2105.
  20. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ref
  21. Jonny Wakefield,"Will Justin Trudeau’s emissions plans trip up Petronas LNG project?" Business Vancouver, March 18, 2016.
  22. "Lelu Island LNG environmental assessment questioned by 130 scientists" CBC News, March 09, 2016.

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