The U.S. Energy Department has issued the final authorization to Cameron LNG LLC in southwest Louisiana to export liquefied natural gas to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement with the United States.
The Cameron terminal in Hackberry has permission to export up to 1.7 billion cubic feet of LNG per day for 20 years.
Separately, the Energy Department gave final approval to Florida-based Carib Energy LLC to export 4 million cubic feet per day.
The Energy Department approves LNG exports to non-Free Trade Agreement countries, which include the more lucrative Asian markets, as long as those exports are “consistent with the public interest.” The Energy Department determined that the Cameron and Carib exports’ impact on the economy, energy security and the environment met that criteria.
A dozen of the multibillion-dollar facilities have been proposed in Louisiana. Three have been given final approval to export to non-Free Trade Agreement countries. The others are Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC in Cameron Parish and Lake Charles Exports LLC.
However, environmentalists and other critics say LNG exports pose a threat to clean air, water and U.S. manufacturing. The Sierra Club has described LNG exports as a dirty, dangerous practice that allows the industry to profit at the expense of people’s health. America’s Energy Advantage, a group of businesses and organizations that includes major manufacturers, has urged the federal government to consider the long-term impacts on the U.S. economy in granting LNG export permits. Members say the low natural gas prices have created a manufacturing renaissance that could be threatened if those prices jump as the result of the exports.
Meanwhile, DOE says the development of natural gas resources is having “a transformative impact” on the U.S. energy landscape. Those developments help to improve energy security while spurring economic development and job creation.
The increase in domestic natural gas production is expected to continue, with the federal Energy Information Administration forecasting a record production rate of 74.6 billion cubic feet per day in 2014.
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