The United States has become a net exporter of natural gas, but new export facilities are needed to advance U.S. capabilities to produce and share clean energy resources across the globe. A recent agreement by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) could provide a path forward for additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals.
On Feb. 21, FERC approved Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass LNG export project in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. In so doing, the commission applied a new approach for consideration of direct greenhouse gas emissions from LNG facilities.
“Since I joined the commission, it’s been a priority of mine to expedite and improve our LNG terminal application review process,” FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said. “I’m extremely pleased that we are issuing the certificate order for the Calcasieu Pass LNG export terminal today. This facility will have the capacity to export 12 million metric tons of U.S. LNG per year. But even more so, I really appreciate the efforts of my colleagues to work together to come to an agreement on this facility. This is significant, as I anticipate we’ll be able to use the framework developed in this order to evaluate the other LNG certificates that the commission is considering.”
Chatterjee added that FERC’s multi-pronged approach to improve its process over the past year put the agency in a position to move forward efficiently with the other 12 pending LNG projects before the commission.
“We signed an MOU with the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, cut through unnecessary red tape and reduced inter-agency friction by signing the One Federal Decision MOU with our federal partners, and increased the number of engineers working on our reviews by casting a wide net to capture talent everywhere we could find it,” added Chatterjee, who called the agreement “a matter of truly strategic significance.”
The American Petroleum Institute (API) applauded FERC’s decision and called it the first step in eliminating a backlog of energy infrastructure projects.
“We’re thrilled that FERC has found a bipartisan path to approval of Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass LNG export project in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, which also creates a path forward for all other LNG export facilities that are currently in front of the commission,” said Todd Snitchler, vice president of market development with API. “We applaud Commissioners Chatterjee, McNamee and LaFleur on their work to come to this critical agreement to ensure that the success of the U.S. energy revolution is shared both here and abroad.”
FERC has been dealing with a backlog of approvals for years. This agreement is positive indication that new energy infrastructure projects will be able to move forward.