FERC throws lifeline to stalled gas project

By Zach Bright | 05/24/2024 07:10 AM EDT

The federal regulator also tightened rules to combat hackers and backed an extreme weather data request to power generators.

Willie Phillips.

Willie Phillips, chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Francis Chung/E&E News

Fights over the future of natural gas spilled into public view again Thursday during a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission meeting that extended the life of a natural gas export project and pushed for a more reliable electric grid.

FERC granted the developers of the proposed Gulf LNG liquefied natural gas export project along the Mississippi coast another five years to complete its terminal. FERC issued an original permit in 2019. The decision to grant more time to the project underscored efforts among energy companies to keep pushing for time to build out U.S. gas infrastructure.

Over the past couple years, LNG exports have become a contentious issue. The delivery of U.S.-produced gas to ports in Europe and Asia carries with it strategic foreign policy aims, including efforts to replace Russian gas that Europe has long relied on. But methane emissions from producing and shipping gas are a potent contributor to global warming.


The increasing scale of U.S. LNG exports turned into a bruising political battle after the Department of Energy paused new LNG export permits earlier this year. DOE is examining the effect of gas exports on climate pollution.