Environmentalist Bill McKibben, who galvanized public efforts to block the Keystone XL oil pipeline, is now pushing to do the same thing to stop construction of huge liquefied natural gas export terminals along the US Gulf Coast.
(Bloomberg) — Environmentalist Bill McKibben, who galvanized public efforts to block the Keystone XL oil pipeline, is now pushing to do the same thing to stop construction of huge liquefied natural gas export terminals along the US Gulf Coast.
McKibben is calling for a ban on approving any new LNG export projects and pressing energy regulators to reject any LNG permitting currently under consideration.
The climate activist spoke out against Venture Global Inc.’s proposed CP2 project in Louisiana in a virtual press conference on Tuesday. McKibben compared the estimated greenhouse gas emissions from CP2 as 20 times that of the recently canceled Willow oil project in Alaska but could not provide details during the press briefing on how that impact was calculated. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the US agency that oversees permitting for LNG projects, is considering another Venture Global project in Louisiana, Plaquemines LNG, on its agenda Thursday.
“There’s no possible way that the public interest is best served by sucking Permian dry and shipping it overseas,” he also said about the oil-and-gas-rich basin in an interview with Bloomberg.
The battle over gas export terminals along the Gulf Coast has sweeping implications for the world’s energy landscape and the fight against climate change. Advocates of the projects, which take years to build and can cost upward of $20 billion, say they’re crucial to helping Europe and Asia with energy transition. Yet McKibben and other environmentalists argue that if approved, the terminals will guarantee that gas remains part of the energy mix for decades to come, paving the way for nations to keep burning until it’s too late to stave off the worst of global warming.
A spokeswoman for Venture Global said projects like CP2 are critical for regions such as Europe, which is looking to replace gas from Russian pipelines in the wake of the war with Ukraine, and that US LNG exports would reduce coal use in Asia and globally.
The US is on track to be the top LNG exporter in the world this year, ahead of Qatar and Australia, and has five new or expansion projects under construction in Texas and Louisiana, while other projects vie for investment and global buyers.
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