Sierra Club and Coalition Petition to Revise Outdated Natural Gas Exports Policy
April 8, 2013
On April 8, the Sierra Club and a list of environmental coalition partners filed a petition with the Department of Energy (DOE) to revise the nearly 30-year-old policy guidelines for approving natural gas exports. The petition urges the DOE to establish new regulations or guidance, defining how the DOE will review and approve applications to develop liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals.
Organizations that have signed the petition include Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, Center for Biological Diversity, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Earthworks, Environment America, Friends of the Earth, and Rogue Riverkeeper.
The Sierra Club and its coalition partners are asking the DOE to open a public comment process in which citizens and experts can generate dialogue, contribute critical feedback, and provide proposals on how to best revise the outdated policy guidelines.
Currently, the DOE is considering more than 25 proposals that could jointly export up to 45 percent of U.S. natural gas production. The coalition criticizes the current guidelines, which were designed in 1984 for natural gas imports and do not adequately tackle present day energy-policy challenges. Exporting natural gas will also mean more fracking on U.S. public and private lands, leading to major impacts on public health and the environment.
February 25, 2013
On February 25, the Sierra Club submitted technical comments to the Department of Energy (DOE) responding to a flawed economic study of exporting natural gas conducted by NERA Consulting.
The DOE is using the NERA study to inform its decision on whether to approve 16 applications for developing export liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. Together, the pending applications would add export capacity for immense volumes of gas equivalent to about 45 percent of current domestic production.
The increased demand for natural gas in both the domestic and global markets would mean more fracking by oil and gas companies, which already exploit exemptions from major federal environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.
The comments were submitted by the Sierra Club--including its Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wyoming Chapters--Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, Center for Biological Diversity, Clean Air Council, Columbia Riverkeeper, Delaware Riverkeeper, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, Shenandoah Riverkeeper, and Upper Green River Alliance.
November 29, 2012
On November 29, Sierra Club released a new report highlighting the significant risks of exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG), and calling on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to take a careful look at the dangerous effects of increased fracking on Americans’ water, air, land and health.
The report, titled “Look Before the LNG Leap,” cautions against the rubber stamp approval of proposed liquefied natural gas export facilities, and counters the Department of Energy’s claim that it cannot predict where new fracking will occur. The DOE has been using this argument as its main reason against performing a thorough environmental impact statement to study the full effects of exporting natural gas. The report shows that DOE's own energy models can and do make those predictions.
Shipping natural gas to foreign countries would increase dirty, dangerous fracking in Americans’ backyards, drive up energy prices for American families and put Americans’ health and our climate at risk – while doing nothing to address our nation’s energy challenges. DOE must do the right thing and begin an open, public environmental impact assessment before we blindly transform the energy landscape and threatened communities across the country.
Details and Documents:
Sierra Club and Environmental Coalition Petition the Department of Energy to Revise Out-of-Date Rulemaking Policy on Natural Gas Exports
April 8, 2013, Sierra Club Press Release
Sierra Club Submits Comments on Flawed Economic Study of Natural Gas Exports
February 25, 2013, Sierra Club Press Release
Sierra Club Releases New Report on Natural Gas Exports
November 29, 2012, Sierra Club Press Release
"Look Before the LNG Leap"
November 29, 2012 Sierra Club Report
LNG: Federal agencies have the tools, and obligation, to gauge effeccts of more gas production - Sierra Club report
November 29, 2012 by Jenny Mandel, E&E News
US must assess fracking when weighing natgas exports - Sierra Club
November 29, 2012 by Ayesha Rascoe, Reuters
See other "Reforming Natural Gas" cases.