Environmentalists mobilize against natural gas export terminals amid firmer air quality standards

(MENAFN) In response to the suspension of new licenses for stations and the implementation of tougher emissions regulations by the European Union, air quality standards have been significantly tightened, sparking a ripple effect in the energy sector. This shift has prompted environmental groups to mobilize, seizing upon the Biden administration's new pollution regulations to intensify their opposition against the development of multi-billion-dollar natural gas export terminals within the United States. Under these updated air quality standards, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is mandated to meticulously evaluate the impact of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects on ambient air quality, thereby imposing stricter criteria for the commencement of construction on such ventures.

Tom Gosselin, an attorney affiliated with the Sierra Club, underscores the heightened scrutiny that LNG projects will now face, emphasizing the imperative for the Energy Regulatory Commission to earnestly assess whether these developments align with the public interest within the framework of the evolving regulatory landscape. He emphasizes the commitment of environmental advocates to hold regulatory bodies accountable and ensure the faithful execution of their legal obligations in light of these new standards.

The anti-pollution campaign represents the latest obstacle encountered by LNG developers, compounded by the indefinite suspension of new export licenses by the Energy Ministry pending a comprehensive review of the project approval process. Concurrently, the European Union has instituted additional requirements pertaining to emissions data from suppliers of liquefied gas, further complicating the regulatory environment for energy projects.

These stricter regulations stem from the US Environmental Protection Agency's endeavor to reduce the permissible limit for fine particles in affected communities' air from 12 to 9 micrograms per cubic meter, reflecting a concerted effort to enhance air quality in regions impacted by heavy industrial activity. As such, the landscape for LNG development in the United States has become increasingly fraught with regulatory hurdles and environmental advocacy, signaling a pivotal juncture in the intersection of energy policy and environmental stewardship.



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