Tag Archives: export

FERC Requests Comments on Rulemaking for small inland LNG export facilities

Hahira Georgia, July 26, 2022 — At the request of WWALS Watershed Coalition, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has opened a process that could correct its mistakes of eight years ago when it disclaimed oversight of dangerous compressed methane export facilities as long as they did not load directly onto ocean-going ships. Those decisions produced environmental, safety, and economic problems. The request provides FERC with an opportunity to “revisit” and “revise” those old decisions, as FERC Chair Richard Glick has recommended.

LNG tanker truck, Southbound I-75, 2018-03-26; Photo John S. Quarterman
LNG tanker truck, Southbound I-75, 2018-03-26; Photo John S. Quarterman

Anyone can comment and organizations can intervene on this new FERC docket for potential Rulemaking on Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) export. The deadline is September 20, 2022. That’s Docket RM22-21 on ferc.gov. Detailed instructions are below.

Please also contact your state and national elected officials and ask them to ask FERC to resume its oversight.

The Introduction of the Petition lays out the problem we want to get solved: Continue reading

FERC requests comments on WWALS Petition for Rulemaking on FERC Oversight of Small-Scale Inland LNG Export Facilities 2022-07-22

Update 2022-07-26: Press release, FERC Requests Comments on Rulemaking for small inland LNG export facilities.

FERC has created a docket for our petition and has filed in it a notice requesting comments by September 20, 2022.

[Notice and map]
Notice and map

Interested parties can file in that docket RM22-21 to intervene and then file comments and motions.

Also on Friday, FERC asked if we wanted to file the cover letter in the docket, so I did. It feels very strange to have FERC politely asking us to file things.

Thanks again to Continue reading

Petition for Rulemaking on FERC Oversight of Small-Scale Inland LNG Export Facilities 2022-07-22

Update 2022-07-23: FERC requests comments on WWALS Petition for Rulemaking on FERC Oversight of Small-Scale Inland LNG Export Facilities 2022-07-22.

FERC has filed our petition in a new docket, RM22-21. We shall see what they do from there on this request to open a Rulemaking to revisit, as FERC Chair Richard Glick has suggested, FERC’s decisions of 2014 and 2015 that left small inland LNG export facilities without environmental oversight.

[What and by Whom]
What and by Whom

Many thanks to Cecile Scofield for keeping after this issue for years, and to the rest of the WWALS Issues Committee.

And thanks to each of our co-signers, Continue reading

Petition to Initiate a Rulemaking for Small-Scale Inland LNG Export Facilities –WWALS to FERC 2021-11-19

Update 2022-07-22: New method, now in a new FERC docket, Petition for Rulemaking on FERC Oversight of Small-Scale Inland LNG Export Facilities 2022-07-22.

Suwannee Riverkeeper asks FERC to oversee inland Liquid Natural Gas export facilities

Hahira, Georgia, November 26, 2021 (PDF)  —  After years of trying to get FERC to pay attention to an economic, health, and safety issue, Suwannee Riverkeeper for WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. has asked FERC to make a rule requiring inland LNG export facilities at least to ask FERC whether it has oversight.

Because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) half a decade ago disclaimed oversight of export facilities for explosive compressed Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) unless ships loaded right there for overseas shipping, such facilities are lacking FERC’s environmental, construction, and safety oversight, causing risk of “ loss of life and significant environmental and economic consequences,” according to FERC’s own strategic plan. Residents of densely populated neighborhoods where inland LNG export plants are being sited, constructed, and operated are in harm’s way. FERC has relegated the responsibility to citizens to police potential threats to public health, safety and welfare posed by these high-risk LNG operations. There are no official Dockets that provide the public an opportunity to participate in any approval process.

[LNG export facilities; WWALS Rulemaking petition to FERC]
LNG export facilities; WWALS Rulemaking petition to FERC

Even a competing inland LNG company complained of economic issues: “During its pendency, the Commission has determined that certain LNG projects are outside its jurisdiction, permitting those projects to compete free from the FERC regulatory burdens that FGS and other FERC-regulated projects bear in what has become an active, urgent and highly competitive small-scale LNG market."

WWALS views the FERC regulatory burdens as public goods of construction, environmental, and safety review, but the point remains that competition has been warped by FERC’s inland LNG export decisions.

“We filed this Petition under the same Federal law as three cases back in 2013-2015 when FERC abdicated oversight of inland LNG export operations,” said WWALS member Cecile Scofield, who opposed an ill-conceived huge 8 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per year LNG import terminal in Massachusetts in early 2000 .   She also noted that, “A Rulemaking is needed to determine FERC jurisdiction before a developer spends millions of dollars constructing an inland export facility only to have it shut down by FERC after it begins operation.”

“Last March, Continue reading

Ghost company: Strom LNG

A ghost company with no assets, not even an office or the land it claims for its Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) liquefaction facility, no investment, and no business partners. What reporters from Tampa Bay Times found was even worse than what what we found by attending a Port Tampa Bay board meeting: Port Tampa Bay has no agreement with Strom, and wants none. The reporters’ findings take us back to 2014.

Strom Inc. previously listed an Ybor City building as its physical location, which it no longer occupies. Pictured is the building. [ MALENA CAROLLO | Tampa Bay Times ]
Strom Inc. previously listed an Ybor City building as its physical location, which it no longer occupies. Pictured is the building. [ MALENA CAROLLO | Tampa Bay Times ]

Malena Carollo and Jay Cridlin, Tampa Bay Times, 20 July 2021, A company asked to ship gas through Tampa’s port. Then it ‘disappeared.’
A plan to transport liquefied natural gas from Citrus County to Tampa has activists concerned — even though details are scant.

The Tampa Port Authority’s June board meeting started like always, with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Then came the call for public comments.

Most port board meetings feature one or two speakers, if any. This one had nine, queued up both on Zoom and in person. All had the same concern: An April report to the U.S. Department of Energy filed by a fuel company called Strom Inc.

Seven years ago, Strom obtained a license from the federal government and has quietly pursued a plan to move a fuel called “liquified natural gas,” or LNG, from a 174-acre facility in Crystal River to one of Florida’s ports via truck or train. Its April report indicated that Port Tampa Bay has tentatively agreed to be its choice.

The fuel is a form of natural gas that is cooled to become a liquid. It is most often used in countries that don’t have infrastructure to extract and transport the gas form of the energy source. Opponents say the fuel can be dangerous to transport, calling rail shipments “bomb trains,” and should bear public discussion before a decision is reached to move it through a city. That’s what prompted the cavalcade of speakers at the port.

Their questions came as a surprise to port leaders, because as one official told the speakers: Port Tampa Bay has no agreement with Strom. It is not negotiating with Strom. And it has no plans to export liquefied natural gas of any kind.

In fact, much of the information Strom has provided to the federal government about its efforts to produce and export liquefied natural gas, the Tampa Bay Times found, is outdated by years.

Not only does Strom have no agreement with Port Tampa Bay, it has no investors or outside backing, no natural gas supplier and does not own the Crystal River property on which it told the Department of Energy it plans to start building a production facility this year.

“It’s kind of like a ghost company,” said Don Taylor, president of the Economic Development Authority for Citrus County, who years ago worked with Strom as the company pursued economic incentives to build in Crystal River. “They just kind of disappeared, and we never heard from them again.”

There’s much more detail in the article, which is well worth reading.

The reporters even got a response out of the head of Strom, Inc.:

In an email to the Tampa Bay Times, Dean Wallace, Strom’s president and co-founder of its parent company, Glauben Besitz, LLC, called the discrepancies in its Department of Energy filings Continue reading

A month late, yet identical to the last one: Strom LNG Semi-Annual Report to DoE FE 2021-05-03

Update 2021-06-16: Port Tampa Bay has no agreement with Strom LNG, and wants none 2021-06-15

Why, Strom, were you a month late filing a report, with only the dates changed from the previous one?

[Late Report, Crystal River to Tampa, Cruise ship]
Late Report, Crystal River to Tampa, Cruise ship

Strom has been promising to export via Port of Tampa since at least October 2018, and this filed-in-May semi-annual report for April 2021 to the Department of Energy (DoE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) still says: “Strom has reached a tentative agreement with the Port of Tampa in Tampa Florida, for long-term leases for shipping of LNG.”

Tomorrow morning, the Port Tampa Bay Board meets, 9:30-11:30 AM, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, both in person at Cruise Terminal 3, and via zoom. You can sign up to make a public comment, if you’re rather not have Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) tankers loading next to cruise ships, or LNG trucking down public highways past hospitals, schools, and businesses to get there.

Still in this late April Strom report, added last time for October 2020, is this: “Additionally, Strom, Inc. is actively in early stage negotiations with a third-party entity regarding a reverse-merger and anticipate filing a report upon completion.”

There’s still no information about who those backers are. Maybe you’d like to ask the Port Tampa Bay Board about that. Continue reading

Strom LNG reports late to FE: reverse merger expected 2020-11-01

Update 2021-04-04: Late again: Strom Inc. semi-annual report to DoE FE about Crystal River LNG 2021-04-04.

Apparently Strom Inc. of the long-touted future LNG export operation in Crystal River, Florida, thinks some public company is so desperate for cash that it will let Strom take over its board for money.

“Additionally, Strom, Inc. is actively in early stage negotiations with a third-party entity regarding a reverse-merger and anticipate filing a report upon completion.”

What money? From a “term-sheet agreement” from un-named financiers that Strom has been claiming since at least April 2020. Lots of big talk, little LNG export action. Which is good news for Crystal River and Tampa, since the most likely export route for Strom would be by truck to Port of Tampa.

[Report, Map]
Report, Map

Strom also has big plans for exporting to “China, Latin America, and several Caribbean countries.”

“Specifically, Strom has received specific interest from LNG users in the Bahamas, China, Belize, Panama, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Honduras and is pursuing all qualified leads. These requests for LNG will far exceed Strom’s authorized capacity, and we will explore our options as we execute agreements. In accordance with Ordering Paragraph D of the Order, Strom will file any such long—term contracts with the DOE/FE following their execution.”

Specifically, interest is not a contract.

This is interesting:

“Strom has secured certain preliminary agreements for equipment and has selected AECOM to fill the role of our EPCM for the Project. AECOM is well versed in Oil and Gas and has been involved in a myriad of FERC approved Oil and Gas projects.”

Yes, AECOM was involved in for instance Elba Island LNG in Georgia.

But Strom LNG in Crystal River, FL, is not a FERC-approved project. Back in 2014 when Strom still planned to locate in Starke, FL, Strom filed with FERC for a Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order re Strom, Inc. under CP14-121. But FERC dismissed that request for lack of fee payment. No other FERC docket for Strom has appeared, so apparently Strom has neither FERC approval nor a declaratory order for Strom’s “mobile liquefaction unit be eligible to export LNG with exemption from FERC’s jurisdiction under the Natural Gas Act.”

As usual, Strom’s report was late. At least, unlike most of its earlier reports, it arrived before a WWALS member had to ask FE where it was.

Strom, Inc., Semi-Annual Report for October 2020

Here’s is Strom’s report, for FE Docket # 14-56-LNG, Order No. 3537. See also the PDF. Continue reading

How Florida can pick up slack from FERC shirking its LNG oversight duties –Cecile Scofield in TCPalm 2020-01-15

Longtime WWALS member Cecile Scofield in TCPalm, January 15, 2020, Liquified natural gas needs regulation in Florida,

You and a friend decide to go into business together. You draft your business plan and delineate each person’s responsibilities for the operation. But what happens if one of you decides to shirk your assigned duties? Your business venture will be doomed to failure.

[WWALS LNG Export Map]
WWALS LNG Export Map
PDF

This is exactly what has happened with regulating a new breed of inland Liquefied Natural Gas export facilities in Florida. A Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) outlines each agency’s role in exercising regulatory authority over the siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and expansion of LNG facilities. See https://tinyurl.com/tdhxazn.

LNG facilities are regulated, in part, by Continue reading

FPL supposedly unrelated pipeline to the sea rolled into FSC with Sabal Trail

FPL’s planned-for-a-decade pipeline to the sea just happens to connect Sabal Trail with an LNG export port. Nevermind that this MR-RV Lateral was never run through the FERC permitting process: FERC rolled it into Florida Southeast Connection.

Susan Salisbury, Palm Beach Post, 10 March 2012 (updated 31 March 2012), FPL proposes 32-mile natural gas pipeline for Riviera Beach plant,

FPL is seeking state approval for a 32-mile natural gas pipeline to provide an uninterrupted supply to Florida Power & Light Co.’s new Riviera Beach plant.

RBEC Lateral in Palm Beach Post 2012
Map: Palm Beach Post, 31 March 2012.

The story said FPL was working with FDEP to determine the final route. It also said:

The project is not related to FPL’s proposed $1.5 billion, 300-mile natural gas pipeline that would have run from Bradford County to Martin County. The Florida Public Service Commission Continue reading

WWALS to FERC: Sabal Trail Leak, Dunnellon, LNG export, safety 2018-12-19

Despite Bernard McNamee’s statement early in the meeting that his agenda was to listen, FERC didn’t seem to want to hear me mention Sabal Trail’s leaks or their lack of LNG oversight yesterday. More on that later. Meanwhile, here is the letter I sent FERC Wednesday 19 December 2018 via PDF as FERC Accession Number 201812195184, Sabal Trail Hildreth Compressor Station Leak 2018-09-29, Supplemental Information / Request of WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. under CP15-17, et. al.

Hildreth and Dunnellon leaks, Letter

 December 19, 2018

To: Chairman Neil Chatterjee and Commissioners

Cheryl A. LaFleur, Richard Glick, Kevin J. McIntyre, and Bernard L. McNamee

Cc: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

888 First Street NE, Room 1A

Washington, DC 20426

Via email and e-filing

Re: Sabal Trail Hildreth Compressor Station Leak 2018-09-29

FERC Commissioners and Secretary,

Sabal Trail already leaked, despite years of safety assurances by Sabal Trail and FERC.

We only know about this leak at Continue reading