Sierra Club Loses Important LNG Case in DC Circuit Court

DC Circuit CourtThe litigious Sierra Club, an environmental organization that may have been founded for good reasons long ago but has become radicalized in their opposition to all fossil fuels, was dealt a serious legal blow last week. None other than the very liberal District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Sierra Club–responding to a lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club that tries to force the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to consider factors not within their purview when deciding on whether or not to issue permits for LNG (liquefied natural gas) facilities. The court decision directly affects two Gulf Coast LNG facilities but also has implications for the Cove Point, Maryland LNG export facility currently under construction by Dominion, now about half completed. The Sierra Club tried to argue that the more LNG you export, the more drilling (i.e. “upstream”) activity is needed, and drilling activity and what it produces (natural gas) is causing man-made global warming. Ergo FERC should be required to consider those “impacts” when making its decision on permitting such facilities. The problem is, under FERC’s charter they are specifically NOT allowed to consider such peripheral considerations. FERC is to make its decisions based on real science: Would a potential project impact the local ecology and environment in a negative way? If so, it doesn’t get a permit. The normally chatty Sierra Club went silent following the court’s decision…

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