Out of State Activists Campaigning against Texas Natural Gas Exports

Thursday, March 16, 2017

This week, at an event hosted by the Sierra Club-backed “Save the RGV from LNG” campaign, two anti-gas activists from Oregon and Maryland spoke about their efforts to halt U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. Promoted as a way to “build a resistance” against the three planned LNG export terminals at the Port of Brownsville, the event is another example of out of state activists misleading local Texas communities to promote the anti-fossil fuel “Keep It In the Ground” agenda.

The three planned LNG export facilities in Brownsville each represent a substantial economic opportunity for the local community. NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG facility alone is expected to create up to 6,000 jobs, supporting 3,000 permanent jobs in Cameron County alone. Additionally, construction of the Annova LNG project is estimated to generate $190 million in state and local tax revenues, while direct investment in the Texas LNG export terminal is projected to be nearly $1.3 billion.

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick wrote a letter to then Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Norman Bay urging him to approve the Texas LNG project:

 “The Texas Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Brownsville Project will provide a much needed outlet for the eco-rich supply of Texas natural gas, which will prompt domestic economic growth.”

Yet Sierra Club, its Save the RGV from LNG campaign, and the two out of state activists brought to Brownsville earlier this week stood opposed to jobs and critical tax revenue for local communities. Donny Yanqui, one of the speakers at Monday’s event and member of activist group “We Are Cove Point,” led efforts in Maryland to stop Dominion’s Cove Point LNG export facility, a project estimated to represent $3.8 billion in investment. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted the project approval in 2014 and it is currently about 84 percent complete, despite Sierra Club’s challenges to block the project.

The second speaker, Ted Gleichman, volunteers for the Sierra Club in Oregon, focusing on opposing LNG exports and blocking the development of all fossil fuels. Gleichman has referred to LNG as a “lethal” and a “brutal industry,” and he has also traveled to Maryland to protest the Cove Point LNG facility.

Out of state activist groups working to mislead Texas communities about oil and gas issues is fairly common. As outlined in a recent report from Texans for Natural Gas, groups headquartered in California and Washington DC, such as Sierra Club and Earthworks, have been actively pushing regulations and other restrictions in order to stop oil and natural gas development in the Lone Star State.

The planned LNG facilities in Brownsville would provide the region with significant economic benefits, including jobs, tax revenue and billions of dollars in investment. With so much at stake, it’s important to ensure that Texas voices are heard and not misled by out of state political activists who don’t have Texans’ best interests in mind

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