Greens press FERC to review LNG effects on endangered whale

By Carlos Anchondo, Heather Richards | 03/06/2024 06:41 AM EST

A filing at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission argues for another environmental review of a major natural gas project.

A Rice's whale in the Gulf of Mexico.

A Rice's whale in the Gulf of Mexico. Marine Mammal Commission

The Sierra Club is urging federal energy regulators to take a deeper look at how a massive liquefied natural gas project proposed in Louisiana could affect the endangered Rice’s whale.

In a filing Monday with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a lawyer for the environmental group said it has “grave concerns” about the potential effects of the Calcasieu Pass 2 project on the Rice’s whale and “FERC’s wholesale failure to evaluate those impacts.”

The project, proposed by developer Venture Global, plans to export 20 million metric tons of LNG overseas per year. Known as CP2, the project still needs approval from FERC before it can be built. A final environmental impact statement issued by FERC in July “fails to analyze or even disclose the nature and degree of effects the project would have on this highly imperiled species,” Devorah Ancel, a senior attorney with the Sierra Club, said in the filing.


Ramifications of the CP2 project on the whale’s habitat would include stressors like vessel noise; the risk of ship strikes; and possible gas, oil and other chemical spills, the filing said.