Rio Grande LNG Begins Clear-cutting Land Despite a Legal Challenge and Opposition


Courtney Naquin,


Brownsville, TX - This morning, local residents and members of the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas gathered along HWY 48 outside the proposed site of Rio Grande LNG where clear-cutting is currently taking place. Tribal Chairman Juan Mancias hand-delivered a cease and desist letter to staff clear-cutting lands that are sacred to the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas and another letter to the Port of Brownsville. 

Last month, the company NextDecade announced plans to begin  site preparation of the leased site for the proposed Rio Grande LNG project at the Port of Brownsville, TX. As of Monday, October 31, the company has begun clear-cutting with tractors and heavy machinery at a site that contains wetlands, habitat, and lands sacred to the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas. Rio Grande LNG’s clearing vegetation is taking place despite the project’s risky status to move forward. The gas project is currently facing uncertainty in securing buyers of the gas, an additional review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), a lawsuit challenging their Army Corps of Engineers 404 Clean Water Act Permit, and tremendous local opposition. 

In response, Brownsville Sierra Club Organizer Emma Guevara released the following statement: 

“We reject the company NextDecade bulldozing our community’s lands to build Rio Grande LNG that would pave over wetlands to make way for flammable pipelines, leaky storage tanks filled with methane, and polluting flare stacks. Rio Grande LNG beginning construction despite the project’s risky status and losing a lawsuit is just another blatant example of fossil fuel corporations getting away with doing what they please against a community’s will.” 

In response, Carrizo Comecrudo Tribal Chairman Juan Mancias released the following statement:

“The Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas will not allow fossil fuel corporations, like Rio Grande LNG, to colonize our sacred lands by clear-cutting the wildlife and building a fossil fuel industrial complex of pipelines and smoggy flare stacks that will hurt our people’s health. Today, we hand-delivered a cease and desist letter to stop construction to all the bad actors forcing LNG onto the community: Port of Brownsville and to staff at the proposed Rio Grande LNG site.”




About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit