A bombshell Reuters report says Cheniere Energy Inc, the top US LNG exporter, has asked the Biden administration to exempt it from new regulations capping emissions of carcinogenic pollutants, saying it would be forced to shut down if it didn’t. for a long time and will jeopardize the country’s commitment to increase LNG supply to Europe to replace Russian gas.
Cheniere’s request imposes a very uncomfortable dilemma on President Biden’s administration, which must strike a balance between its policies to curb pollution from the fossil fuel industry and its promise to help European allies cut energy ties with Moscow.
If he rejects Cheniere’s request, he risks cutting off most of America’s LNG exports for months or even years, and if he grants it, he will undo a key campaign pledge to curb toxic emissions in poor and minority neighborhoods. that he swore to protect.
Texas regulators have already sent Cheniere’s massive LNG production facility on the outskirts of the Gulf of Mexico city of Corpus Christi a warning for exceeding limits on emissions of carcinogenic pollutants.
The regulation Cheniere is referring to is the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Pollutants Act (NESHAP), which imposes restrictions on emissions of known carcinogens such as formaldehyde and benzene.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in February that starting August 1st, 20 days from now, this rule will begin to apply to two types of gas turbines that had been out of regulation for nearly two decades and that in the entire US are used only by Cheniere in many of its facilities, consequently forcing it to upgrade some and close others, for some time.
The Houston-based company accounts for about 50% of US LNG exports.
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