Flouting Biden pause, agency OK’s largest LNG terminal in US

Flouting Biden pause, agency OK’s largest LNG terminal in US

Despite a much publicized pause on the approval of liquefied natural gas terminals in the United States, a federal regulatory agency Thursday approved the construction of the nation’s largest LNG terminal, months before that pause is set to end.

The 2-1 vote of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approving the $10 billion Calcasieu Pass 2 in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, doesn’t mean developer Venture Global will begin construction on the facility to export condensed and super-cooled methane. But it is a big step forward for the company, which has been asking FERC to approve its two-and-a-half-year-old application since February.

In a statement after the decision, the company indicated it was waiting for approval from the Department of Energy to export the fuel to some countries — the approvals that were paused by the Biden Administration in January. 

The terminal would be located in a 60-mile stretch with nine other such facilities in various stages of planning or operation. In all, there are 17 export terminals along the Gulf Coast that are operating, under construction or approved.

The biggest buyers of LNG for the proposed terminal are in non-free-trade countries, including Germany and Japan, which have contracted about half of CP2’s output.