Thursday, April 20, 2023

CONTACT: Valentina Stackl, valentina[@]

In response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approving the Rio Grande LNG export terminal, Rio Bravo Pipeline, and Texas LNG today, Allie Rosenbluth, Oil Change International US Program Co-Manager, said: 

“Despite fierce local and national opposition, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved new LNG projects in South Texas at a time when we so clearly must transition away from fossil fuels. Following the frenzy of the European energy crisis, U.S. oil and gas companies saw opportunities to push through dirty fossil projects that lock unwilling communities into more pollution and us all into more climate disaster. We will not let this stand.

“Industry false solutions such as carbon capture and certified gas, are making these projects even more dangerous. For example, NextDecade, the company behind Rio Grande LNG, claims it will “certify” the greenhouse gas intensity of LNG to be sold from the proposed export terminal. However, new reporting from Oil Change International and Earthworks exposes the dangers and false claims of gas certifiers. The investigation uncovered failures with monitoring technology, documented the concerns of methane emissions experts, revealed an absence of data transparency, and exposed conflicts of interest. Furthermore, the report detailed how the gas and LNG industry cannot rely on simply cleaning up to align with climate goals. They must also plan for a phase out gas production. This evidence calls into question the degree to which the gas certification process is misleading gas markets, giving consumers and investors a false sense of security about the environmental impacts of methane gas.

“The approval of any new fossil fuel project is a failure of the Biden administration’s stated commitment to take action on both climate change and environmental justice. It’s bad for the communities in Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley who will suffer the worst consequences of this massive industrial plant on their health and well being, it’s bad for our country as laggards to climate commitments, and it’s bad for our planet, as the clock is ticking to stave off the worst climate disasters.

“The fight is far from over. This March, after years of trans-Atlantic organizing, French bank Société Générale withdrew from Rio Grande LNG and no final investment decision on the LNG terminal has been made. People around the world will continue to fight these projects and demand a just transition to renewable energy.”

One Comment

  • The fight over NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG and Glenfarne’s Texas LNG projects is far from over.

    Here I’ll focus on NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG and associated Rio Grande LNG CCS Systems Project (associated with NextDecade’s NEXT Carbon Solutions project) and the Rio Bravo Pipeline (No Pipeline, No LNG)

    This morning, FERC reaffirmed its 11-22-2019 combo Rio Grande LNG and Rio Bravo Pipeline Permit finding that they “will not have any significant air quality impacts on environmental justice communities” (; Commissioner Allison Clements dissenting,

    But that won’t “greenlight” Rio Grande LNT to a positive FID and the construction of its LNG Terminal due to its unlikely ability to reduce its carbon emissions by 90 percent or more (as advertised) or with Enbridge’s ability to build the Rio Bravo Pipeline that’s supposed to provide the feed gas that’s to be turned into LNG.

    I’ll start with “Rio Grande LNG, LLC; Notice Suspending Environmental Review Schedule of the Proposed Carbon Capture and Sequestration System Amendment” (Federal Register),” Federal Register, 04-20-2023, This renders NextDecade’s low carbon LNG promises questionable but FERC will still consider the project if Rio Grande LNG provides it with the information it needs to complete an Environmental Assessment on the project.

    And with “New Report: Certified Gas and Project Canary Threaten Global Climate Goals,” Valentina Stackl, 04-17-2023, OilChange International, Related to NextDecade’s Term Sheet agreement with Project Canary to do NextDecade’s NEXT Carbon Solutions CCS project together as a “pilot project.”

    The rest of this is a cut-and-paste I put together on 03-24-2023 (Unfortunately minus the original layout that makes it more comprehensible):

    NextDecade has created regulatory problems for its Rio Grande LNG project that are unlikely to be resolved, if they can be resolved, until 3rd Quarter 2023 at the earliest.

    Rio Grande LNG’s biggest problem is the combo permit FERC issued for the then paired and both owned by NextDecade Rio Grande LNG and Rio Bravo Pipeline projects. NextDecade sold its pipeline project to Enbridge that then requested FERC permission to redesign the project. Enbridge. Briefly, regarding the uncertainties of FERC’s approval of the redesigned Rio Bravo Pipeline, now owned by Enbridge:

    1) The Rio Bravo Pipeline originally belonged to NextDecade, which, in 2015 said it would have the pipeline up and running by 2020 to enable its Rio Grande LNG project to be producing 11 mtpa of LNG by 2020 (“NextDecade Signs HOAs for 14 Mtpa of LNG for Rio Grande LNG Facility,” Business Wire Press Release, 11-05-2015,

    2) On 02-13-2020, NextDecade sold its pipeline project to Enbridge ( IMPORTANTLY, Enbridge has the right to sell the pipeline project back to NextDecade if NextDecade doesn’t make an FID on its LNG Terminal by 12-31-2023.

    3) On 06-15-2020, Enbridge asked FERC for permission to redesign the Pipeline project (

    [ >>> Note: The following links to Rio Bravo Pipeline FERC documents often require you to “Zip and Download All Files” to see the documents. <<< ]

    4) After a lengthy number of challenges to the design modification and rebuttals to the challenges, on 08-14-2020, FERC set a schedule for issuing an Environmental Assessment on the design change request on 08-16-2020 and for making a decision on the request on 03-22-2021. But then, on 10-16-2020, FERC changed the schedule to 12-21-2020 for issuing the EA and to 03-22-2021 for approving or disapproving the redesign request (

    5) After which Enbridge dropped the ball. It promised FERC on 09-15-20-2020 that it would provide FERC with information on its proposed pipeline variances "in early 2021" ( But it failed to provide that information to FERC as promised. In other words, Enbridge did nothing to move its pipeline design change request forward between early 2021 and 06-01-2022 — the date when it responded to a 05-02-2022 information request from FERC ((

    The project is still pending FERC approval. Most recently, on 02-24-2023 Rio Bravo Pipeline provided additional Environmental Information to FERC regarding ". . . the speciated emission rate of greenhouse gases and criteria pollutants for construction equipment and operational equipment for the Rio Bravo Pipeline Project incorporating all modifications proposed for the Rio Bravo Pipeline Project Amendment" (

    FERC hasn't yet issued a revised Notice of Schedule for issuing an Environmental Assessment and for Commissioner action on the redesigned pipeline.

    NextDecade is unlikely to get the financing it needs to make an affirmative FID until Enbridge gets FERC approval for its redesigned Rio Bravo Pipeline project.

    NextDecade announced its NEXT Carbon Solutions CCS project on . However, it failed to initiate FERC regulatory approval of the Rio Grande LNG CCS Systems Project until 11-17-2021. And it still hasn't identified the geological formation it plans to use for its CCS injection well, following which it needs to complete a geological study of the formation certifying that its appropriate for the injection well. FERC issued a 12-02-2022 Notice of Schedule on NextDecade's Rio Grande LNG CCS Systems Project (

    Schedule for Environmental Review: Issuance of EA May 5, 2023, 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline August 3, 2023 {To be adjusted pending Rio Grande LNG's compliance with FERC's regulatory rules and procedures}

    FERC has regulatory authority over the RGLNG CCS Systems part of NextDecade's NEXT Carbon Solutions project. EPA has regulatory authority over the underground part of that project. NextDecade has yet to get the funding it needs for the construction of its NEXT Carbon Solutions project and needs a completed geological study of the geological formation it plans to use before it can even submit an application for the EPA permit it needs prior to construction.

    If NextDecade wanted investors, supporters to know about its delaying its Rio Grande LNG FID to Q2, it would have issued a Press Release instead of just filing a 03-16-2023 SEC Form 8-K Current Report regarding its amended its EPC agreements with Bechtel ( This is the 7th revision to Rio Grande LNG's EPC Construction Contract with Bechtel due to NextDecade's continuing inability to make an positive FID decision by the dates specified in its original and revised contract agreement with Bechtel. This and several previous revisions have carried the terms of the agreement forward but not the price agreements forward.

    That's why the 03-16-2023 SEC Form 8-K says: "NextDecade currently estimates [emphasis added] the aggregate lump-sum EPC cost to construct Trains 1-3 of the Rio Grande Facility at approximately $11.5 billion." After the revisions quit specifying firm prices, NextDecade started stating that the lump-sum, non-refundable cost will be negotiated prior to its positive FID and Order To Proceed (OTP) with the construction of the Rio Grande LNG Terminal.

    According to NextDecade's 09-14-2022 EX-10.1 2 ex_439451.htm EXHIBIT 10.1 at

    – NextDecade has to give Bechtel a Notice To Proceed today to keep its $8.3 billion contract prices for trains one and two.

    – If NextDecade issues an NTP between December 15th and March 15th 2023… then Bechtel and NextDecade have to negotiate a change order adjusting the EPC contract price…

    – If NextDecade issues an NTP after March 15th 2023… Bechtel shall draft a revised proposal for work and revised contract price…

    – If NextDecade failed to issue an NTP before the final deadline of July 31, 2024… Bechtel can terminate the agreement without any liability

    You might also want to check out the 03-22-2023 Sierra Club ,et al., Comment on Filing regarding Texas, Rio Grande, & Freeport LNG + Rio Bravo Pipeline – including the need for adequate Evacuation Plans at

    Incorporated in November 2010 and getting listed on the Nasdaq Exhange by merging with Harmony Merger Corp on 07-24-2017, NextDecade has time and time again proven itself to be too unreliable and irresponsible to be entrusted with the management of a 27 mtpa LNG operation at its present project site location at the Port of Brownsville (7 to 8 miles from the SpaceX Boca Chica Starship launching pads, with the LNG tanker ships using the Brownsville Ship Channel that runs between the LNG and SpaceX site locations).

    {FAA issued a long-delayed launch license to SpaceX on 04-14-2023, SpaceX scrubbed an attempted Starship launch on 04-17-2023, launched on 04-20-2023 only to have it blow up before the Booster and Starship separated. So the SpaceX threat to the Rio Grande LNG project remains real and alive.}

    John Young, MS (Psychology), MSW (Social Work), Retired
    San Benito TX
    An active member of Save RGV (aka Save RGV from LNG) since May 2014 (,
    Registered with FERC as an Intervenor opposed to:
    1) The originally paired Rio Grande LNG and Rio Bravo Pipeline projects on 05-25-2016 (;
    2)Enbridge's Rio Bravo Pipeline Company's Rio Bravo Pipeline project on 06-26-2020 (; and
    3)Rio Grande LNG's application for a Limited Amendment on 11-22-2021 (

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