Advocates Win Challenge Against Magnolia LNG Request for Extension


Grace Nolan, 
Carolyn Morrisroe,

LAKE CHARLES, La. — Local and national organizations, including the Sierra Club, For a Better Bayou, Micah 6:8 Mission, Vessel Project, and Healthy Gulf, successfully challenged Magnolia LNG’s request for an extension on its export license for its proposed LNG export terminal in Lake Charles, La. The Department of Energy (DOE) agreed that Magnolia LNG’s extension request should be subject to DOE’s new policy statement on exports, which sets a much higher bar for companies to obtain an extension. As a result, Magnolia LNG filed a request to withdraw its application for extension. 

This decision could be a major setback for the future of Magnolia LNG. The company is already behind schedule and will have to reapply in order to proceed, which would subject it to another DOE evaluation of whether the project is in the public interest. Under its existing approval, Magnolia LNG was required to commence exports by Nov. 30, 2023. 

Magnolia LNG applied for a second extension for its DOE export license because it has yet to secure the contracts and financing necessary to build the LNG export terminal and start shipping gas. In October, the International Energy Agency reported that with the number of LNG terminals slated to come online, there will likely be a glut of LNG on the international markets by 2025. Magnolia LNG is just one of the 30 facilities planned to be built along the Gulf Coast and in Alaska. 

The Sierra Club and local organizations first challenged Magnolia LNG in 2014. As proposed, this project would have emitted nearly 700 hundred tons per year of harmful particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds. The project would also contribute to the climate crisis, emitting more than 2.5 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. 

Local communities warn that the buildout of facilities like Magnolia LNG threatens Louisiana’s thriving commercial fishing industry – the most productive seafood industry in the lower 48 states. The fishing industry employs tens of thousands of people, generates billions of dollars annually, and is an integral part of the state’s heritage, culture, and economy. 

In Response, Local and National Organizations Released the Following Statements: 

“This is a major win for communities in Southwest Louisiana, which are overly burdened by the existing petrochem industry and will be further impacted by the LNG buildout. We are glad to see the Department of Energy taking a stance, refusing to rubber stamp yet another extension request, and adhering to its principles,” said Lisa Diaz, Associate Attorney at Sierra Club. "But the reality is that much more needs to be done to stop the Department of Energy’s dated and systematic approval of LNG export authorizations. Magnolia LNG is just one of numerous projects proposed along the Gulf Coast, and it’s critical that the Department of Energy update its processes to determine that LNG exports are not in the public interest.”

"As a mother living in a frontline community in Southwest Louisiana, I cannot overstate the significance of this victory for our neighborhoods,” said Roishetta Ozane, Director of the Vessel Project of Louisiana. “We are already burdened by the presence of the petrochemical industry, and the potential impacts of the LNG buildout only add to our concerns. It is truly encouraging to witness the Department of Energy taking a strong stance by refusing to simply grant another extension request.”

“Although we are pleased to see the Department of Energy make it harder for polluting companies like Magnolia LNG to receive extensions, it's clear that much more needs to be done to stop these projects from being approved in the first place,” said James Hiatt, Director of For a Better Bayou. “DOE must follow the science and truly listen to those most impacted by these projects."


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