30
May
2019
|
11:57 PM
America/New_York

For Immediate Release

New Disclosure Reveals Rio Grande LNG Misled Regulators About Capacity of Proposed Fracked Gas Export Terminal

Brownsville, TX -- In a newly discovered presentation to shareholders, NextDecade, the company behind the controversial proposed Rio Grande LNG export terminal and Rio Bravo pipeline, revealed that the company plans to export dramatically more fracked gas than it disclosed to federal regulators.

In the company’s application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), NextDecade claimed that the Rio Grande LNG fracked gas export terminal would have a capacity of 3.6 billion cubic feet per day. Then, weeks after FERC released its final environmental impact statement of the project, the company told investors that, in fact, the amount of gas processed at the facility would be 20% higher than the amount they told FERC. Greater capacity at the facility not only means greater climate emissions, but also increased tanker traffic and associated pollution and threat to wildlife in the Port of Brownsville.

Even more egregious, when the Sierra Club raised concerns with FERC in 2016 that the facility would end up exporting more gas than NextDecade was claiming, the company vehemently denied that this could be the case.

“NextDecade clearly misrepresented their plans for this facility, and how much fracked gas they plan to ship through Texas communities to export,” said Sierra Club Senior Attorney Nathan Matthews. “It is critical that FERC commissioners take this issue seriously and reassess the true impact this polluting facility would have on communities and the climate.”

“Construction of this facility, along with others planned along the Brownsville Ship Channel, would have a disastrous effect on sensitive habitat and recovery of endangered ocelot in the United States,” said Defenders of Wildlife Texas representative Shari Wilcox. “Because of the severe ecological consequences, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should take into account the permanent damage the Rio Grande LNG terminal would cause and deny permits for this plant.”

Today, the Sierra Club, Texas Riogrande Legal Aid, Inc., and Defenders of Wildlife sent a letter to FERC urging the commission to revisit their environmental analysis to address the true capacity of the fracked gas project and the resulting impact it would have on the climate, wildlife, and local communities.

The Rio Grande LNG and Rio Bravo Pipeline projects have yet to receive final permits or approvals needed from the Army Corps of Engineers, Fish and Wildlife Service, or FERC.

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit Newsroom.Defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.