Cirque du Cheniere: The Legal and Regulatory Acrobatics of Sabine Pass LNG Export

Introduction

Following technological advances in hydraulic fracturing, the United States has seen a renaissance in its domestic natural gas industry and supply.  This increased supply, combined with growing global demand for imports, has provided the impetus necessary for serious consideration of United States liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.  Natural gas is considered the cleanest of all fossil fuels and has an impeccable safety record, particularly in comparison to the production and marketing of liquid hydrocarbons.  LNG projects, however, are capital intensive and domestic export authorization is a demanding and complex process.  Additionally, companies seeking authorization face significant opposition among environmentalists and politicians.  The following is an analysis of the benefits of LNG, the multifaceted process for gaining export approval, and the numerous challenges the industry faces from green advocates.  In a virtually acrobatic fashion, Cheniere Energy is the first company to gain full export authorization and to begin construction on an LNG export terminal. The company’s tactical navigation of the circuitous authorization process for its Sabine Pass facility will serve as a useful example throughout the discussion.

Liquefied Natural Gas: Properties, Extraction, and Shipping

Natural gas is a fossil fuel formed when layers of buried plants, decomposing animals, and gases are exposed to immense pressure and heat over millions of years.  This natural resource is classified as non-renewable because it exists in limited supply and cannot be replenished by natural means at the same rate it is consumed.  Natural gas is a hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, accompanied by lesser percentages of hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen.  Compared to other hydrocarbon fuels, natural gas continues to be favored as a more environmentally friendly energy source due to its lower carbon intensity.[1]  Conventional natural gas, which is trapped in permeable material beneath impermeable rock, is relatively easy and economical to extract.  Unconventional natural gas, such as that found in shale and tight rock formations, has become increasingly accessible due to technological advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.  Although proved natural gas reserves in the United States have increased every year since 1999, the most dramatic increases are due to a proliferation of unconventional drilling in the nation’s largest shale formations.[2]

Because of its low density, large volumes of natural gas are not amenable to long distance transport unless the volume is condensed through liquefaction.  By cooling natural gas to approximately -260 degrees Fahrenheit at atmospheric pressure, the gas is liquefied and results in a volume approximately 1/600 that of its former gaseous state.[3]  Thereafter, LNG can be shipped in specialized, double hull carriers for sea transport.  Once the LNG reaches its overseas destination, the receiving terminal typically employs a regasification process, which restores it to gaseous form for pipeline delivery to the end consumer.

Sabine Pass: Regulatory Response to Abundant Supply and Global Demand

While the United States has historically been a net importer of natural gas, it is estimated that the nation will be a net exporter by 2016, due to abundant domestic production, increasing use of LNG markets around the globe, and comparatively low prices.[4]  Additionally, demand for LNG exports has risen as result of dramatic growth in global populations, rapid industrialization, and increasing acknowledgment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s call for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.[5]  Further, there has been a clear and decisive move away from nuclear energy in the wake of Japan’s 2011 Fukushima disaster, creating a need for substitute energy.  Notably, Japan is currently the world’s largest importer of LNG and the nation’s consumption is forecast to increase annually by 1.8 percent until 2020.[6]

In response to the confluence of factors driving demand for LNG exports, Cheniere Energy initiated a project to install liquefaction services at Sabine Pass in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, where domestically produced LNG could be shipped to various nations.[7]  Originally constructed as an LNG import facility, Sabine Pass is situated in an ideal export location on the Gulf Coast because of its proximity to Louisiana and Texas pipelines carrying natural gas from the nation’s major shale plays.[8]  A recently settled dispute surrounding expansion of the Panama Canal will also situate the Sabine Pass terminal in a highly competitive position.  The expanded canal, located along the shipping route from Louisiana to East Asia, will be “able to accommodate ships 1,200 feet long and 160 feet wide, allowing 90% of all LNG carriers to pass between its walls.”[9]  In fact, the Panama Canal Authority has determined that trips from Sabine Pass to East Asia “will be cut from 63.6 days to just 43.4 days,” and is expected to “greatly improve the competitive position of LNG exports, as shorter transport times will make LNG cheaper for Asian buyers.”[10]

As these domestic and global precipitants to LNG export began to converge, Cheniere Energy initiated the process of gaining approval for Sabine Pass’s transformation into a bi-directional liquefaction facility.  As the only company to successfully navigate the regulatory process, Cheniere is set to become the first exporter of domestically produced LNG in the lower forty-eight states.[11]  As Sabine Pass authorization demonstrates, however, the road to approval involves a tangled web of interagency cooperation, countless impact assessments, and a fiery opposition from environmentalists.

Regulatory Road to Approval: DOE and FERC

For companies seeking to export domestically produced LNG, there is essentially a two-part regulatory process in place that must be navigated.  The Natural Gas Act of 1938 (NGA) first requires an authorization from the Department of Energy (DOE), which has the responsibility of regulating international trade in natural gas.[12]  Upon submitting an application to the DOE, the company is required to pay a small $50.00 filing fee.[13]  The DOE is required to approve the application for LNG export unless it finds that the project would not be consistent with the public interest.[14]  In its Energy Policy Act of 1992, Congress declared that the export of LNG to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) nations is consistent with the public’s interest and an application to do so “shall be granted without modification or delay.”[15]  An FTA is an agreement between two or more countries “directed to the substantial reduction of tariffs and other barriers to trade and to the elimination of discriminatory treatment in international commerce.”[16]  The United States has entered FTAs, which require national treatment for trade in natural gas with Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Peru, Republic of Korea and Singapore.[17]  Thus, a company seeking authorization to export LNG to these nations can expect the DOE to summarily approve its application.

While some of the world’s largest importers of LNG, including France, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Spain, are not parties to an FTA with the United States, other mechanisms are in place to facilitate trade with these nations.[18] As a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and signatory to its General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the United States is committed to ensuring there are no long-term limits on exports to member nations, with some exceptions for conservation of natural resources.[19]  A company seeking authorization to export LNG to a non-FTA country will again submit an application to the DOE, yet in this instance the presumption of public interest is not operative.  Instead, a finding that the proposed export will “not be inconsistent with public interest” is required.[20]  In its “public interest test,” the DOE considers “domestic need for the gas proposed for export, adequacy of domestic natural gas supply, national energy security, and the cumulative impact of the requested authorization” as well as other relevant issues, “including the impact on the U.S. economy (GDP), consumers, and industry; job creation; U.S. balance of trade; international considerations; and whether the arrangement is consistent with the DOE’s policy of promoting competition in the marketplace by allowing commercial parties to freely negotiate their own trade arrangements.”[21]

Further, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires the DOE to integrate environmental concerns into its decision-making processes by considering the environmental impacts of the proposed actions and reasonable alternatives.[22]  To ensure that the administrative record accurately and adequately supports a finding of public interest, a company seeking authorization will commission its own reports for submission along with the application to export.  Once the DOE has received all pertinent materials, a notice of application is issued in the Federal Register to allow for public comment in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).[23]  Reply comments are thereafter accepted, addressing primary concerns raised by industry and citizens during the public comment period.  Ultimately, the DOE will take the entire record into consideration in making its final determination on public interest and issues a final order.  If the DOE arrives at an affirmative finding of public interest, its approval of the application is conditioned upon an Environmental Assessment (EA) of the project, which initiates the second phase of the approval process.

While the DOE is responsible for international trade approval, the Natural Gas Act (NGA) states that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has “exclusive authority to approve or deny an application for the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of an LNG terminal.”[24]  The FERC’s discretion appears to be broader than the DOE’s as it is authorized to approve an application “in whole or part, with such modifications and upon such terms and conditions as the Commission find necessary or appropriate.”[25]  Further, for good cause shown, the FERC may also make supplemental orders that it finds necessary or appropriate.[26]  In evaluating an application, the FERC must find that the project will not be inconsistent with the public interest and that the proposed terminal will “improve access to supplies of natural gas, serve new market demand, enhance the reliability, security and/or flexibility of the applicant’s pipeline system, improve the dependability of international energy trade, or enhance competition within the United States for natural gas transportation or supply.”[27]  NEPA’s requirement that federal agencies consider environmental effects also applies to the FERC and mandates that an Environmental Assessment (EA) be prepared accordingly.[28]

To satisfy NEPA’s assessment requirements, the EA should address “geology, soils, water resources, wetlands, vegetation, fisheries, wildlife, threatened and endangered species, land use, recreation, visual resources, cultural resources, air quality, noise, safety, and alternatives.”[29]  In assessing geology, soils, water resources, and wetlands, the EA should take into account whether “participation in wetlands mitigation banks adequately mitigates the losses of wetland” as well as comments from the United States Army Corps of Engineers regarding permitting under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for dredging and filling wetlands.[30]  The EA should also consider input from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on whether a proposed project will comport with requirements under the Endangered Species Act for the protection of threatened and endangered species.[31] Importantly, the EA will need to consider the terminal’s potential air quality implications and applicable Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements, such as compliance with National Ambient Air Quality Standards, Prevention of Significant Deterioration permitting, and New Source Performance Standards.  Typically, the state’s environmental department charged with oversight will also weigh in on future permitting and compliance with applicable regulations.[32]  Pursuant to its authority to enforce the CAA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may also recommend a Fugitive Dust Control Plan calling for procedures during terminal construction such as spraying water on access roads and laydown areas, enforcing a 15 mile per hour speed limit on unsurfaced roads, covering open-bodied haul trucks, enclosing the work area for specific activities, and identifying individuals with authority to implement dust control measures or with authority to stop work orders, if contractors do not comply with dust control measures.[33]

In addition to considering environmental impacts directly related to construction and operation at the terminal site, the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) regulations require the FERC to consider other environmental effects, whether direct or indirect, if they are “reasonably foreseeable.”[34]  If based upon a fact-specific analysis the FERC finds that certain environmental impacts are not reasonably foreseeable, or are too speculative or attenuated, the impacts will not warrant inclusion into the EA.[35]

Once the FERC has prepared the EA, it is set for public comment and review by the EPA in accordance with the regulations set forth by the CEQ.[36]  Following the period for reply to comments, the FERC will take the administrative record as a whole and will determine whether to approve, deny, or modify the application for construction of the LNG terminal.  If the FERC determines that the proposed terminal would not significantly affect the environment, it will issue a finding of no significant impact.[37]  However, if the FERC finds that the proposed terminal is likely to significantly affect the environment, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required under NEPA.[38]  The EIS must evaluate in detail the proposed actions and possible alternatives, including a discussion of the purpose of and need for the action, alternatives, the affected environment, and other environmental consequences.[39]  The EIS must be submitted for the same notice and public comment period as the EA, which will form part of the administrative record for the FERC’s preparation of its Record of Decision in which it discusses the ultimate decision, alternatives considered, and mitigation plans.[40]  If the FERC ultimately approves the application for construction, the DOE will in turn be asked to issue a final order of authorization.

To date, the only company to successfully navigate this complex two-phase regulatory process and begin construction is Cheniere Energy for its Sabine Pass LNG terminal.  However, it should be noted that both the DOE and the FERC have issued authorizations for the export of LNG to FTA and non-FTA nations at a capacity of up to 2.76 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day.[41]

Arguments Against Globalization: An Uncertain Future

Throughout Cheniere’s application process, Sierra Club and other opponents filed motions to intervene, submitted comments and protests, and voiced an array of concerns to policy-makers and media outlets. Arguments against approving the terminal ranged from environmental concerns implicated by increased hydraulic fracturing to worry over unstable domestic supply resulting from the United States’ future as a net natural gas exporter.  Following the application process, these arguments are also expected to form the basis of opponents’ call for judicial review of agency action.

Perhaps the strongest argument on the opposition’s side is that exporting LNG will induce greater natural gas production through the use of hydraulic fracturing, resulting in numerous environmental harms.  Hydraulic fracturing (often informally referred to as “fracking” or “frac’ing”) has been the subject of contentious debate between industry and environmentalists.  In fact, Bulgaria and France, nations with significant shale gas reserves, have placed a ban on the practice as a whole.[42]  The mixture of liquids injected into a formation during fracking is of great concern to green advocates.   This “cocktail includes acids, detergents and poisons that are not regulated by federal laws but can be problematic if they seep into drinking water.”[43]  Fears of this mixture entering drinking water and streams were fueled by the 2010 release of Gasland, a documentary that portrayed landowners lighting their drinking water on fire as it poured from the faucet.  The natural gas industry fought back, arguing that these instances were isolated and extremely rare, but the damage was already done.[44]  As scrutiny of fracking increased, further studies revealed that the liquids returning to the well surface contained “extremely low but measurable concentrations of radioactive elements and huge concentrations of salt,” which call into question disposal procedures and the safety of wastewater storage practices.[45]  One wastewater storage practice, re-injecting the liquid deep into underground reservoirs, has been a concern for many states that are experiencing a staggering increase in seismic activity.  Oklahoma, a state with over 10,000 injection wells, has “experienced more than 200 quakes with a magnitude of at least 3.0 since the beginning of 2009, and more than 2,600 tremors altogether during 2013.”[46] These dramatic increases now situate Oklahoma as the second most seismically active state, behind California.[47]  This aspect of fracking has called into question not only the environmental implications of the practice, but the safety of citizens as well.  On its face, the argument against fracking appears to have the traction needed to delay regulatory approval of LNG export facilities until an EIS is conducted to determine the effect of increased domestic production in the nation’s shale plays.  However, the FERC rejected exactly this argument set forth by the Sierra Club against Sabine Pass export authorization, stating that “impacts which may result from additional shale gas development are not ‘reasonably foreseeable’ and that such additional development, or any correlative potential impacts, is not an ‘effect’ of the Liquefaction process for purposes of a cumulative impacts analysis.”[48]  The FERC has adopted a decidedly limited view of the effects a given export terminal may have, perhaps rendering any arguments tangential to export useless by opponents.

A more direct environmental impact resulting from operation of these terminals is emission of greenhouse gases.  Throughout nearly every phase of natural gas production and transportation, incidental methane is released into the atmosphere.[49]  Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, reported in September that it is even more potent than we previously believed.  In its fifth assessment report, IPCC revised the global warming potential, or GWP, of methane from a GWP of 25 to a GWP of 34 over a 100-year period.  This means that methane traps 34 times as much heat as carbon dioxide over that timeframe.[50]

The executive branch has explicitly acknowledged the danger of increased emissions in President Obama’s Global Climate Change Initiative.  Even the United States Supreme Court has weighed in by acknowledging “the harms associated with climate change are serious and well recognized,” and could possibly render such emissions “[the] most pressing environmental problem of our time.”[51]  Yet the FERC and DOE appear to have given the issue only a passing glance in authorizing the Sabine Pass terminal.  The EA upon which the agencies relied included an air quality modeling analysis, which indicated that the terminal would not “cause or significantly contribute to a violation of National Ambient Air Quality Standards” under the CAA.[52]  To bolster its finding that any increase in emissions at the terminal would pose no significant air quality concerns, the FERC added that “Sabine Pass has obtained all necessary air permits for the Liquefaction Project from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ).”[53]  This creates the potential for groups opposing future terminal authorizations to point to whether the terminal has received early permitting from the respective state DEQ.  Arguably, the failure to acquire early permitting strengthens the emissions argument.

An offensive strategy that environmental groups have yet to attempt, likely due to Louisiana’s plentiful groundwater resources, is that state agencies’ permitting of the terminal runs afoul of the “public trust doctrine.”[54]  The Louisiana Constitution expressly recognizes the “public trust doctrine” embodied in Article IX, Section 1.  The Louisiana Supreme Court has explained that the “state constitution establishes a ‘public trust doctrine’ requiring the state to protect, conserve and replenish all natural resources. . . for the benefit of its people.”[55]  Upon judicial review, a state public trustee of natural resources is “duty bound to demonstrate that he has properly exercised his responsibility under the constitution and laws.”[56]  The primary duty under the doctrine is that state actors must undertake meaningful review of the environmental and natural resource impacts resulting from their decisions.[57]  In a line of “public trust doctrine” cases, Louisiana courts have formulated a test known as the “IT Factors,” which asks whether a state agency, in making a decision implicating natural resources, has evaluated whether the potential and real adverse environmental effects have been avoided to the maximum extent possible, whether the social and economic benefits are outweighed by the environmental costs, and whether the agency examined alternative projects or sites and mitigation measures which would offer more protection to the environment.[58] [59]  Clearly, water supply is a natural resource, and the “public trust doctrine” has indeed been applied in this context with success.  Fracking, operation of refrigeration trains, and liquefaction require immense amounts of water when the processes are viewed as a whole.  Since 2011, fracking alone has required “almost 100 billion gallons of water” to drill wells, over half of which are located in “regions under high or extremely high water stress.”[60]  Texas has experienced severe water shortages due to increased fracking during droughts, with the most acute water conditions occurring in Colorado and California, where “97% and 96% of the wells were drilled in regions under high or extremely high water stress.”[61]  In states with scarce water supply, the argument can clearly be made that staggering industrial uses of water in fracking, refrigerating, and liquefying natural gas are depleting the natural resource such that it deprives the public of use and enjoyment of the entrusted resource.  Alternatively, in Louisiana (where water shortage is less of a concern), methane seepage into aquifers may be seen as poisoning or tainting the commonly owned resource such that it diminishes or deprives the public’s use and enjoyment.  Actions taken by other state agencies, such as clearance from state Fish and Wildlife Services regarding state endangered species or air emissions permitting from the state DEQ, could be challenged using the “public trust doctrine.”  Though successful challenges would not serve as barriers to construction, they may slow the construction process significantly for terminals hoping to quickly commence exports.

A final challenge that companies seeking authorization to export will face is the uncertainty surrounding whether export of LNG will cause instability in domestic natural gas prices and supply.  Domestic supply and stability are key considerations in reaching a finding of public interest and require fact-intensive analysis by the agencies.  There is widespread agreement among scholars and economists that LNG exports will “put upward pressure on the price of natural gas in the United States.  This, in turn, would put upward pressure on the price of electricity.”[62]  Pricing markets and mechanisms for natural gas vary around the globe.  Currently, the “three most common pricing mechanisms are oil-linked pricing, regulated pricing, and competitive market pricing (or gas-on-gas competition).”[63]  Along export routes from the Gulf Coast, the most active pricing point in the United States is the Henry Hub near Erath, Louisiana, while the United Kingdom tends to use the National Balancing Point, and Asia adopts the Japan Crude Cocktail pricing.  Although there is no globally integrated market for natural gas, accelerated increase in LNG exports means “[t]he move to more competitive natural gas markets may be inevitable.  The timing of such a transition remains uncertain.”[64]  What effect this transition may have on domestic pricing has been a source of much debate.  While most forecasts indicate that increased exports will cause higher prices for natural gas, most studies still conclude that LNG exports will “provide a net economic benefit in any scenario.”[65]  In the DOE approval of Sabine Pass, the agency noted that it has a continuing duty to monitor natural gas supplies to ensure that export authorizations do not reduce the supplies necessary to meet essential domestic needs.  Further, in review of applications subsequent to Sabine Pass, the agencies will be required to evaluate the cumulative impact of its prior authorization on any future export authorizations.  Thus, the race to export is theoretical speaking, “first-come-first served.”  There must be a limit on export terminals if the agencies are to have seriously considered the cumulative effects of authorization on supplies for domestic production.

Conclusion

Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal paved the way as the first fully permitted LNG project in the United States.  Following dual approval by the DOE and FERC, construction on the Sabine Pass liquefaction terminal picked up pace and the first four liquefaction trains are expected to be operational this year.  The company has already signed long-term supply contracts sufficient to account for nearly all of the terminal’s production for the next 20 years.  The terminal is expected to provide well-paid jobs to Louisiana residents and generate significant revenue for the state.  Numerous other players in the industry, eager to take advantage of the current market, stand next in line for DOE/FERC approval.  Freeport LNG has obtained conditional authorization to export from its Texas-based terminals at a combined 1.8 Bcf per day beginning in 2018.  Although the Lake Charles Liquefaction Project was ahead of the pack in filing its DOE export application, the company only recently filed its application for review by the FERC.  While the road to approval is complex and convoluted, it is likely that the DOE and FERC will continue to approve terminals in the near future and opponents will remain a veritable threat to timely construction and operation.  The Sabine Pass application and authorization are precedent-setting, and the strategies and arguments employed serve as a useful roadmap for companies hoping to achieve the same success.

Preferred Citation: Haley Nix,  Cirque du Cheniere: The Legal and Regulatory Acrobatics of Sabine Pass LNG ExportLSU J. Energy L. & Res. Currents (February 23, 2015), https://jelr.law.lsu.edu/?p=1166.

[1] International Energy Outlook, 2013, U.S. Energy Information Administration 1, 41 (2013) http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/archive/ieo13/pdf/0484(2013).pdf

[2] U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, 2011, U.S. Energy Information Administration 1, 11 (2013) http://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/crudeoilreserves/archive/2011/pdf/uscrudeoil.pdf

[3] Natural Gas Glossary: Liquefied Natural Gas, American Gas Association, http://www.aga.org/Kc/glossary/Pages/l.aspx (last visited Mar. 26, 2014).

[4]  Annual Energy Outlook 2014 Early Release Overview, U.S. Energy Information Administration 1,13 (2014), http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/er/pdf/0383er(2014).pdf.

[5]  Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Thomas F. Stocker et al. eds., Cambridge Univ. Press 2013) http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_ALL_FINAL.pdf

[6] Gwynne Taraska, U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas Exports: A Primer on the Process and the Debate, Center for American Progress (Nov. 5, 2013), http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/ green/report/2013/11/05/78610/u-s-liquefied-natural-gas-exports, American Progress.

[7]Sabine Pass Liquefaction Project, Cheniere Energy (2013), http://www.cheniere.com/ lng_industry/ sabine_pass_liquefaction.shtml.

[8] Id.

[9] Tim Maverick, Panama Canal Expansion a Boon to U.S. LNG Exports, Wall Street Daily (Mar. 10, 2014), http://www.wallstreetdaily.com/2014/03/10/panama-canal-lng-exports/.

[10] Id.

[11] Since the initial draft of this paper, four additional export facilities have gained approval: Cheniere’s Corpus Christi LNG, Sempra’s Cameron LNG, Dominion’s Cove Point LNG, and Freeport’s expansion of Freeport LNG.

[12] 15 U.S.C. § 717b (2012).

[13] 10 C.F.R. § 590.207

[14] 15 U.S.C. § 717b(c) (2012).

[15] Id.

[16] General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, at 2, Oct. 30, 1947, T.I.A.S. No. 1700.

[17] Free Trade Agreements, Office of the United States Trade Representative, http://www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements (last visited Apr. 2, 2014).

[18] Id.

[19] General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, supra note 16, at 2.

[20] 15 U.S.C. § 717b(c) (2012).

[21] Notice of Application: Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC; Application for Long-Term Authorization to Export Liquefied Natural Gas Produced From Domestic Natural Gas Resources to Non-Free Trade Agreement Countries for a 20-Year Period, 79 Fed. Reg. 8698 (Feb. 13, 2014).

[22] 42 U.S.C. § 4332(A)-(F) (2006).

[23] 5 U.S.C. § 553 (2012).

[24] 15 U.S.C. § 717b(e)(1) (2012).

[25] 15 U.S.C. § 717b(e)(3)(A) (2012).

[26] See, e.g., Distrigas Corp. v. Federal Power Commission, 495 F.2d 1057, 1063-64 (D.C. Cir. 1974), cert. denied, 419 U.S. 834 (1974); Dynegy LNG Production Terminal, L.P., 97 F.E.R.C. ¶ 61,231 (2001).

[27] 18 C.F.R. § 153.7(c)(1)(i).

[28] 42 U.S.C. § 4332(A)-(F) (2006).

[29] Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC, 144 F.E.R.C. ¶ 61,099 (2013).

[30] Id.

[31] Id.

[32] In Louisiana, this is the Department of Environmental Quality.  See Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC, 146 F.E.R.C. 61,117 (2014).

[33] Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC, 144 F.E.R.C. 61,099 (2013).

[34] Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC, 146 F.E.R.C. 61,117 (2014).

[35] Id.

[36] Id.

[37] See generally 42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq. (2012).

[38] Id.

[39] Id.

[40] Id.

[41] Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC, 146 F.E.R.C. 61,117 (2014).

[42] Susan Brantley, The Facts on Fracking, N.Y. Times (Mar. 13, 2013), http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/14/opinion/global/the-facts-on-fracking.html?_r=0.

[43] Id.

[44] Steve Everly, Debunking Gasland, Energy in Depth (Apr. 25, 2013), http://energyindepth.org/national/debunking-gasland-part-ii/.

[45] Brantley, supra.

[46] Bryan Walsh, Oklahoma Shakes–Is Fracking to Blame?, Time Magazine (Feb. 18, 2014), http://time.com/8782/oklahoma-earthquakes-fracking-link/.

[47] Id.

[48] Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC, 146 F.E.R.C. 61,117 (2014).

[49] Taraska, supra note 6, at 9.

[50] Id.

[51] Massachusetts v. EPA, 127 S. Ct. 1438, 1442, 1446 (2007).

[52] Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC, 146 F.E.R.C. 61,117 (2014).

[53] Id.

[54] Louisiana has a total land and water area of 48,000 square miles and abundant water resources throughout the State. B. Pierre Sargent, WATER USE IN LOUISIANA, 2005, La. Dept. of Trans. & Devel., Water Res. Special Report No. 16, at 1 (2007).

[55] State v. McHugh, 92-1852 (La. 1994); 630 So. 2d 1259, 1265.

[56] Id.

[57] Save Ourselves, Inc., et al. v. La. Envtl. Control Comm’n, 452 So. 2d 1152 (La. 1984).

[58] The name for the factors derives from the IT Corp., whose actions were evaluated in the Save Ourselves case. See generally In re Shintech, Inc., 2000-1984 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2/15/02); 814 So. 2d 20, 28.

[59] In the Matter of Rubicon, Inc., 95-0108 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2/14/96); 670 So. 2d 475, 483.

[60] Julie Schmit, Report: Fracking Raising Water Supply Worries, USA Today (Feb. 5, 2014), http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/02/05/ceres-report-fracking-water-supplies/5230583/.

[61] Id.

[62] Taraska, supra note 6, at 11.

[63] U.S. Energy Info. Admin., U.S. Dep’t of Energy & Office of Integrated Analysis and Forecasting, International Energy Outlook, 2013 at 45 (Gov’t Printing Office 2013).

[64] Id.

[65] Taraska, supra note 6, at 3.

 


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