FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 3, 2022
Contact: Anastasia Gordon, firstname.lastname@example.org , 646-341-2588
WASHINGTON – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved expanding export capacity of Freeport LNG, one of the top-producing liquified natural gas (LNG) export facilities in the country at its monthly meeting on July 28. This decision comes in the wake of a recent explosion at the Texas-based export terminal, which is still under investigation and officials barred Freeport LNG from restarting operations after finding unsafe conditions. Even before the explosion, Freeport LNG had a long history of safety issues. Anastasia Gordon, Energy and Transportation Policy Manager at WE ACT for Environmental Justice, responded with the following statement.
“The decision last week shows once more that FERC is failing to take into consideration environmental justice and climate impacts in its decision-making processes. The June 28 explosion at Freeport LNG amplifies our concerns about the environmental, health, and safety risks of LNG operations and infrastructure to frontline communities that are already overburdened by fossil fuel industries and other sources of industrial pollution. It’s no wonder the Gulf Region is home to the highest cancer clusters in the nation. Not only are largely low-income and communities of color exposed to hazardous air pollutants including particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds, but they also have to contend with the risks of accidental fires and major explosions. Given the high amounts of gas stored at LNG plants, this danger is an ever-present possibility. In fact, experts believe industry safety calculations are severely understated.
With nearly 40 percent of residents in the Gulf Coast living 3 miles from the more than 20 proposed new and expanded gas terminals being low-income and people of color, FERC’s approval to expand capacity even as the export terminal is under investigation, is a gross miscarriage of oversight. It will not only compound environmental and health harms in our communities, but also further increase domestic energy prices and compromise federal commitments to tackle the climate crisis. That is why earlier this year, WE ACT and 40-plus environmental justice organizations and allies called on FERC and other key agencies in the Biden administration to halt new or expanded LNG exports, embed climate and environmental justice into environmental and public interest reviews, accelerate the development of renewable energy and energy storage, and expand federal funding for energy assistance programs for under-resourced, energy-burdened people. These recommendations are even more urgent now than ever before in order to ensure a just and equitable clean energy future for all.”
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WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York and Washington, D.C. Visit us at weact.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.