Sierra Club Files Protest Against LNG Export Facility

Once upon a time, the Sierra Club supported natural gas as one of the best clean alternative forms of energy. But politics got in the way of common sense and now the Sierra Club trash talks natural gas a “dirty fossil fuel”. Such are the vagaries of the energy debate. The Sierra Club’s latest natural gas objection is to building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Louisiana, a facility just approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Sierra Club filed an official objection (embedded below) with the Department of Energy calling on them to extend their studies of fracking before allowing the facility to be built.

The Sierra Club’s twisted but simple logic is that if the U.S. exports natural gas, that means we’ll drill for more of it, and drilling uses fracking and as “everybody knows” fracking is from the devil himself (Dick Cheney and Halliburton). Fracking is a “dirty and dangerous operating practice” according to the Sierra Club.

From the Sierra Club press release:

The Sierra Club filed a formal protest to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) late today, challenging a proposal to export billions of cubic feet of domestic natural gas from a facility on Lake Charles in Cameron Parish, LA. The Sierra Club’s protest challenges natural gas companies’ efforts to secure liquefied natural gas (LNG) export licenses without acknowledging its damaging effects. DOE is currently studying the effects of exporting as much as a fifth of the domestic gas supply, and the Sierra Club calls for similar studies of the public health and environmental damage caused by increased fracking.

"Exporting natural gas is dirty and dangerous, and puts American families at risk," said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. "The Sierra Club’s action today follows a series of filings in an ongoing effort to protect families from the natural gas industry’s dirty and dangerous operating practices."

The Sierra Club’s challenge contends that the Cameron export proposal would lead to increased air and water pollution in Louisiana and Texas and raise domestic natural gas prices. The filing calls for a full Environmental Impact Statement to study the extent of this proposed facility’s environmental damages before DOE makes any final decisions. Weighing these threats is particularly important because the oil and gas industry currently exploits numerous loopholes and exceptions in federal safeguards, putting the health and safety of Americans at risk.

Today’s filing is the fifth protest the Sierra Club has brought before DOE and other regulatory bodies, opposing LNG export facilities. The other challenges were filed against Cove Point, MD, Sabine Pass, LA, Coos Bay, OR, and Freeport, TX.*

*Sierra Club (Apr 23, 2012) – Sierra Club Challenges Louisiana Liquefied Natural Gas Export Facility