Now is the time to fight like hell to shut down the LNG projects threatening our small part of the world.
We have several opportunities between now and the end of the year to make our final public comments against the LNG projects. And to take other actions to stop the projects.
Not everyone can do everything. But if each of us does what we can, we can kill the projects before any of them sticks a shovel into the ground. Because Rio Grande LNG, Texas LNG, and Annova LNG aren’t as strong and solid as they claim.
We have to do a couple of things — some hard, some easy, and some in between.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hasn’t made it easy for us. It’s given us a narrow window of opportunity to speak out against the LNG 3 (Rio Grande, Texas, & Annova LNG).
Look, the information below is too much too fast. I’m just trying to give you a sense of what’s going on and some of the ways we can stop the LNG projects from being built at our local Port of Brownsville. Just slowing down the permitting process can help kill the projects.
Right now FERC plans to approve Texas LNG by 06-13-2019, Annova LNG by 07-18-2019, and Rio Grande LNG by 07-25-2019.
But those target approval dates all depend a number of things. They depend on:
1) Us not taking advantage of the public comment periods,
2) On 9 other federal agencies reviewing the Draft Environmental Impact Statements and recommending needed changes “in a timely manner,”
3) On the companies providing the information FERC wants from them “in a timely manner,” and
4) On the companies keeping their investors on board until they get FERC approval.
And even if they get FERC approval, they can’t build until or unless:
1) Until they get the TCEQ air quality permits they need.
2) Unless they can produce LNG cheap enough to compete with all the other LNG projects already up and running or at least already under construction around the world.
And the companies are weaker than they look. For example, NextDecade is Rio Grande LNG’s parent company. In July 2017, its stock was selling for $10.80 a share. On 11-17-2017, one analyst (Cowen & Co LLC) predicted it would hit $12.00 a share by now. Right now it selling under $5.00 a share. Some analysts think it will hit $6.00 by this time next year. But on 09-26-2018, the analyst who predicted it could hit by now predicted it could go as low as $4.00 by September 2019.
So here’s the information that’s too much too fast, just to give you an idea about how we’re fighting the LNG projects and how you can help us fight them:
Some of us need to divide up and go through pages and pages of documents to make strong arguments against all three projects to three different agencies during this holiday season. We got a late start on this because of all the activity related to the 11-06-2018 midterm election. FERC couldn’t have planned it better to make this hard for anyone to delay its permitting process.
But some of us have been fight this fight since May 2014. And we’re a coalition of groups now. We’ve hired an environmental law firm to help us out. And we’re working as hard as we can to put together fact sheets and talking point lists to help folks make public comments.
We still need others to back us up with simpler but no less important comments about why they personally oppose the LNG projects.
We also need people to help us spread the word and help out with telephone banking, writing Letters To The Editor, and getting together rallies and events etc.
The primary three agencies we’re dealing with right now are FERC, the Corps of Engineers, & TCEQ:
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), 1) gives the permit for LNG companies to build and 2) tells the companies what if anything else they have to do before they can actually start building their projects. It also publishes a Draft Environmental Impact Statement on each project. The Draft EIS includes information about how to make public comments on the project and setting the deadline for making such comments. Then it publishes a Final EIS before issuing the permit.
11-15-2018: Stop LNG Public Hearing & Protest – Port Isabel, TX, 5 to 9 PM. Show up to amplify our voices, to learn more, to share your concerns about LNG and your hopes for our future here in the Rio Grande Valley. See the Facebook event page athttps://www.facebook.com/events/326608687923463/.
11-17-2018: Lower RGV Sierra Club All-Valley Meeting and Potluck in Weslaco 1-3 PM. See the Facebook event page athttps://www.facebook.com/events/720822448292505/.
11-19-2018: Deadline for making public comments to the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and asking for local Public Hearings regarding Rio Grande LNG and the Rio Bravo Pipeline that goes with it.
11-26-2018: SAVE RGV from LNG evening meeting in Brownsville. More information will follow.
11-29-2018: The Corps has scheduled a Public Hearing on its Coastal Texas Protection & Restoration Feasibility Study from 5:30 to 9:00 PM at the Port Isabel Event & Cultural Center regarding ways to increase the resiliency of Texas coastal communities and decrease their risks of coastal storm damage. Relevant to our efforts to make effective arguments against the LNG projects and to all at risk of such storm damage. See the public announcement athttps://www.brownsvilleherald.com/classifieds/other/promotions/crouch-environmental-bh-approval/pdfdisplayad_f839caf4-7b1a-559f-8ff9-d911f25d56fd.html.
December 2018: FERC is scheduled to publish the Draft EIS on Annova LNG this December that will provide us with the information we need for opposing the project, will give us the comment deadline, and will trigger a public comment request from the Corps.
12-03-2018: Deadline for making public comments to FERC regarding Rio Grande LNG and the Rio Bravo Pipeline.
12-03-2018: Also the deadline for making public comments to the Corps regarding Texas LNG.
12-12-2018: The TCEQ Commissioners will discuss Rio Grande LNG’s air quality permit at a public meeting in Austin. The public may attend but no public comments are permitted at the meeting. The Commissioners are to decide whether or not to let the Contested Hearing requests to move forward to administrative court hearings and rulings. Port Isabel, Laguna Vista, Vecinos Para el Bienestar de la Comunidad Costera, Shrimpers and Fishermen of the RGV, and SAVE RGV have all requested Contested Hearings. If TCEQ allows even just one of the five requests to move forward administrative court hearings, it can’t issue the permit until after the court case is settled.
12-17-2018: Deadline for making public comments to FERC regarding Texas LNG.
Still up in the air: The FERC and Corps public comment period and deadline regarding Annova LNG. TCEQ’s ruling on the Contested Hearings requested regarding Rio Grande LNG’s air permit and possible administrative court hearings on the permit. TCEQ action on Contested Hearing request from Port Isabel, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, and others regarding Texas LNG’s air permit request. TCEQ publication of a draft air permit for Annova LNG that would include a deadline for public comments on the draft permit and requests for a Public Meeting on the permit request.
If we can just delay the permitting and building of these projects long enough, their investors will start deserting them and they’ll collapse. Then we can start seriously working with groups already engaged in creating a better, cleaner, healthier, sustainable, prosperous future for our Rio Grande Valley.
Visit, friend, and follow SAVE RGV from LNG on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/saveRGVfromLNG/