WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- A facility along the Texas coast was cleared for exports of liquefied natural gas sourced from domestic supplies, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said.
Freeport LNG Development is to build a plant capable of processing 1.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day for exports to countries with and without free-trade agreements with the United States.
The federal government must weigh trade to non-FTA countries against the public's interest. FERC in a statement Thursday said the Freeport LNG is required to adhere to more than 80 conditions to mitigate potential environmental impacts.
Supporters of LNG exports say it will be a source of domestic economic stimulus while enhancing U.S. leverage overseas. Opponents say it could lead to higher natural gas prices at home and lead to more hydraulic fracturing, a controversial drilling practice seen as harmful to the environment.
Conditional approval was given Thursday by the U.S. Energy Department to Oregon LNG to send LNG to non-FTA countries. The facility is conditionally authorized to export 1.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day for the next 20 years.
When it weighed the application, the Energy Department said it took into consideration that most of the gas slated for export was coming from Canada, not the United States.