The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to assess the potential indirect greenhouse gas effect that liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from a Louisiana project may have on the environment.
The project proposed by San-Diego-based natural gas company Sempra Energy for exporting LNG was approved by the Department of Energy in February, but the EPA claims that officials failed to take into account the greenhouse gas emissions that would be released as a result of the increased drilling needed to support exports in the long term. That is why the agency has called for a review of the matter by FERC, which is expected to approve the plant in Louisiana.
FERC's final environmental review on the project is due to be released on April 30. A spokeswoman for the Commission told Reuters that recommendations made by the EPA will be taken into account, as well as other public input on the matter. However, energy analysts speculate that the review will most likely decide there is no need for extra research into indirect greenhouse gas emissions. The Commission has already turned down calls for extensive reviews on LNG exports from environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club, which have claimed that export projects would have a serious negative effect on climate change, Reuters noted.