Environmentalists are protesting the Biden administration's approval of the construction of a huge oil export terminal off the coast of Texas – Business News (Trending Perfect)


WASHINGTON (AP) — In a move environmentalists call treason, the Biden administration has agreed to build a deepwater oil export terminal off the Pacific coast. Texas Coast, which will be the largest of its kind in the United States.

The Sea Port Oil terminal being developed off Freeport, Texas, will be able to load two supertankers simultaneously, with an export capacity of 2 million barrels of crude oil per day. The $1.8 billion project by Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners received a deepwater port license from the Department of Transportation's Marine Administration this week, the final step in a five-year federal review.

Environmental advocates denounced the license approval, saying it conflicted with President Joe Biden's approval Climate agenda It would result in “catastrophic” greenhouse gas emissions for the planet, equivalent to nearly 90 coal-fired power plants. The action could jeopardize Biden's support from environmental allies and young voters already disillusioned with the Democratic administration's approval last year of the massive plan. Alaska willow oil project.

“Nothing about this project is consistent with President Biden’s climate and environmental justice goals,” said Kelsey Crane, senior policy advocate at Earthworks, an environmental group that has long opposed the export terminal.

“The communities that will be affected by (the oil terminal) have once again been ignored and will have to live with the threat of more oil spills, explosions and pollution,” Crane said. “The best way to protect the public and the climate from oil damage is to keep it in the ground.”

In a statement after the permit was approved, the Maritime Administration said the project meets a number of requirements passed by Congress, including comprehensive environmental reviews and a federal determination that operating the port is in the national interest.

“As the Biden-Harris administration works to accelerate America’s transition to a clean energy future, actions are also being taken to manage the transition in the near term,” the agency, called MARAD, said.

MARAD said the administration's review conducted over the years included consultation with at least 20 federal, state and local agencies. The agency ultimately determined that the project would not have a significant impact on U.S. crude oil production or consumption.

“Although (greenhouse gas) emissions associated with the primary production and end-use of crude oil to be exported from the project may represent a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions, these emissions already occur largely as part of the U.S. crude oil supply chain,” the agency said. “Therefore, the project itself will likely have a minimal impact on existing greenhouse gas emissions associated with the overall U.S. crude oil supply chain,” he said in an email to The Associated Press.

Environmental groups scoffed at the claim.

“The Biden administration must stop floundering about fossil fuels,” said Cassidy DiPaola of Fossil Free Media, a nonprofit group that opposes the use of fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas.

“Approving the offshore oil terminal after stopping LNG exports is not just bad news for our climate, it is an incoherent policy,” DePaola said. “Biden cannot claim to be a climate leader one day and then turn around and give a huge giveaway to the oil industry the next. It is time for President Biden to listen to the vast majority of voters who want to see a transition away from fossil fuels, not a doubling down on dirty energy projects.” And deadly.

DePaola was referring to the administration's announcement last January Postponing consideration of new natural gas export stations In the United States, even Gas shipments to Europe and Asia rose Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The decision, announced at the start of the 2024 presidential election year, has the Democratic president siding with environmentalists who fear a massive increase in liquefied natural gas exports will lead to potentially catastrophic emissions that warm the planet even as Biden does so. It pledged to halve climate pollution by 2030.

Industry groups and Republicans have condemned the moratorium, saying LNG exports stabilize global energy markets, support thousands of American jobs and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by shifting countries away from coal, a much dirtier fossil fuel.

Enterprise CEO Jim Teague praised the approval of the oil project. The terminal will provide “a more environmentally friendly, safer, efficient and cost-effective way to deliver crude oil to global markets,” he said in a statement.

The project will include two pipelines to transport crude oil from shore to a deep-water port, reducing the need for ship-to-ship oil transfers. The plant is expected to begin operations by 2027.

Since the project was first submitted for federal review in 2019, Enterprise has “worked diligently with various federal, state, and local authorities, and participated in numerous public meetings that allowed individuals and stakeholder groups to learn about the project and provide feedback.” “Including some studies that have been translated into Spanish and Vietnamese,” the company said in a statement. More than half of Freeport's 10,600 residents are Hispanic, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, hailed the permit approval as a “major victory for the Texas energy industry” and said the Biden administration had delayed the Sea Port terminal and other projects for years.

“After the tireless work of my office and many others to secure a deepwater port license, I am thrilled that we are helping to bring more jobs to Texas and providing greater energy security for America and our allies,” Cruz said in a statement. “That this victory was delayed by years of unnecessary bureaucratic indecision demonstrates why we need broader reforms in this country.”

The oil export facility, one of several license applications under federal review, is located 30 miles offshore Brazoria County, Texas, in the Gulf of Mexico.

The permit approval followed a ruling last week by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejecting environmental groups' claims that federal agencies failed to adhere to federal environmental laws in their review of the project.



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