The facility, which would be able to process as much as 15 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas annually, is the first proposed greenfield export project — one that wouldn’t be built on the footprint of existing LNG infrastructure — to make it this far.
The Energy Department on Wednesday handed critical final government licenses to the Cameron LNG project in southwestern Louisiana and a much smaller Florida facility, giving both approval to widely export natural gas around the globe. The two projects now are part of an elite club, joining only one other would-be LNG exporter in the continental United States to be fully authorized.
The Obama administration says its new plan for vetting proposals to sell liquefied natural gas overseas is aimed at streamlining the review process, but energy companies and aspiring exporters say the government’s approach could have the opposite effect.
The House voted Wednesday to force the Obama administration to accelerate its scrutiny of dozens of proposed natural gas export projects, responding to energy companies’ clamor to sell the fossil fuel to Japan, Thailand and other countries. Houston Democrat Gene Green helped broker a critical compromise on the bill.
Sempra Energy subsidiary Cameron LNG, based in Houston, won federal approval Thursday to build a facility for exporting natural gas in southwest Louisiana, becoming only the second such U.S. project to secure all major necessary federal permits.
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