Sierra Club-Backed Group Works to Block Texas LNG Exports in Brownsville
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Texans For Natural Gas
Save RGV From LNG (SaveRGV) is an activist group seeking to stop three proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities in the Port of Brownsville. The group recently notched a small victory when federal regulators granted it legal authority to intervene in the permit application for one of the proposed projects, Texas LNG. The group will now be able to impose additional legal hurdles as Texas LNG awaits its final permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
While SaveRGV claims to be a local coalition of environmentalists and community groups from South Texas, the reality is that they are backed by national environmental groups whose goal is to shut down all oil and natural gas production – in Texas and across the country.
Here are four things to know about SaveRGV:
1. SaveRGV is a front for the Sierra Club, a radical environmental group headquartered in California
According to the San Antonio Business Journal, SaveRGV is “Sierra Club-funded” and the Houston Chronicle notes that Sierra Club organizers have been “working under the banner Save RGV From LNG.” SaveRGV is essentially a front group for the Sierra Club to make it seem like there is there is a swell of local opposition to these export facilities.
For years, the Sierra Club has tried to use the courts to block LNG exports, but it has been rebuffed every time. After its latest loss, the group identified “grass-roots organizing in Texas” as its next tactic to try to stop LNG exports, according to E&E News.
Using the veneer of “grassroots” or “local” opposition to disguise a more radical national agenda has become a common tactic for environmental activists in Texas. In the Corpus Christi area, the Sierra Club has approved hundreds of thousands of dollars to support litigation efforts from Portland Citizens United, a group organized to oppose a major petrochemical facility proposed for San Patricio County. An environmental group headquartered in Arizona also claimed it had sent letters to Texas regulators in opposition to that facility, and that the letters were all from “Texas residents.” But a Texans for Natural Gas investigation revealed that hundreds of the letters were from out of state.
2. SaveRGV is raising money for the Sierra Club
On SaveRGV’s website, the group encourages visitors to donate and the “Tax Deductable” [sic] tab links directly to a Sierra Club donation form. Curiously, SaveRGV is not the only “local” group in Texas that is fundraising for national environmentalist groups. Last year, Portland Citizens United sent a fundraising plea on behalf of the DC-based Environmental Integrity Project.
3. SaveRGV is run by Sierra Club staffers
Rebekah Hinojosa, Patrick Anderson and Marta Elena Peña are all frequently quoted in the press on behalf of SaveRGV. Hinojosa is the Beyond Dirty Fuels Organizer for the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. Anderson is the Executive Committee Chairman for the Sierra Club’s Lower Rio Grande Valley Group. Peña is the Vice Chair of the Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter Executive Committee.
4. SaveRGV is tied to other out-of-state environmental groups
In addition to the Sierra Club, SaveRGV also partners with the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), another San Francisco-based radical environmental group. RAN is part of the “Keep it in the Ground Campaign,” which is a fringe movement to ban the use of all fossil fuels. SaveRGV partnered with RAN on a whitepaper explaining the risks associated with LNG export facilities in the Rio Grande Valley.
The three proposed LNG export facilities in the Port of Brownsville (Annova LNG, Rio Grande LNG and Texas LNG) will create over 3,000 permanent jobs, provide billions of dollars in economic benefits and create new markets across the globe for Texas natural gas.
Want to stand up to out-of-state environmental groups? Sign this petition to show that Texans support LNG export facilities in Brownsville.
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