Lake Charles LNG Loses Bid for Second Extension to Export Gas

Extension denial likely spells the end for controversial methane gas project

Courtney Naquin,

The Department of Energy has denied a second request from the developers of the proposed Lake Charles LNG export facility to extend their deadline for beginning to ship gas abroad, likely spelling the end for the controversial methane gas project. DOE also issued a policy statement, to be published in the federal register, stating that the department will be more stringent with extension requests going forward.

Friday’s decision by DOE means that Lake Charles LNG will lose its authorization to export gas unless exports begin by December 16, 2025. The project has not begun construction, nor have developers announced a final investment decision, and it was estimated that it would take four years from start of construction to its first export shipment.

Backed by fossil fuel corporation Energy Transfer Partners, Lake Charles LNG would be devastating for the surrounding area if built, harming vulnerable wetlands and fisheries, and producing significant climate pollution. The project has faced fierce opposition from local residents because of the damaging impacts it would have on vulnerable communities, especially communities of color and fenceline communities.

“Lake Charles LNG would be a disaster for vulnerable communities in Southwest Louisiana, who already bear the brunt of industrial pollution from the fossil fuel industry as well as increasingly intense extreme weather driven by climate change,” said Sierra Club Campaign Representative Roddy Hughes. “We are glad to see the Department of Energy effectively shut down this dangerous and ill-advised proposal, and they shouldn’t stop here. The Biden administration must live up to their climate and environmental justice commitments by protecting our communities and rejecting the industry’s gas export expansion.”  

“The Department of Energy announcement to change the way it approves requests by LNG companies to extend deadlines is a step in the right direction towards environmental justice for all,” said Roishetta Ozane, founder The Vessel Project of Louisiana. “In Southwest Louisiana there are other extension requests for projects that would be a nuisance in or near poor, low income, communities of color. Projects like Lake Charles LNG, which just had their request for an extension denied, contribute to environmental concerns in our community. Environmental factors such as air and water quality are fundamental determinants of our health and well-being. This can lead to disease and health disparities when the places where we live, work, learn, and play are burdened by these inequities. Though denying extensions is great news it is only a start. We need other Federal agencies, such as FERC and DOT to stop approving permits, but above all we need the President to declare a climate emergency.”

“Denying another extension is only reasonable. Lake Charles LNG would be a disaster waiting to happen, and investors must clearly see there is no need for another massive gas export terminal in our oversaturated and overburdened community. The Department of Energy is taking a step in the right direction, but must also swiftly reconsider their Public Interest Determination for all of these gas export terminals,” said James Hiatt, Director of For a Better Bayou. Lake Charles LNG and the two dozen other export projects proposed in the Gulf do not meaningfully benefit the public interest, and instead are deadly and destructive to our homes and way of life. Real environmental justice requires the DOE to deny any further extensions and to reconsider the already approved export permits. Enough is enough!”  

“I commend the Department of Energy for taking this step in the name of common sense and for the good of the communities and ecosystems of southwest Louisiana.  The denial of Lake Charles LNG’s request for extension is a breath of fresh air, and I hope that Department of Energy’s Secretary Granholm and President Biden continue to take swift and decisive actions like the denial of the extension, to institute the environmental justice policies they claim to be advancing,” said Naomi Yoder, Staff Scientist with Healthy Gulf.


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