Tuesday, March 21, 2017


By Tom Dart

Environmental groups have called on a French bank not to help finance a fracked-gas export terminal planned for south Texas.

A report released on Wednesday urges BNP Paribas and its US subsidiary, Bank of the West, to state it will not finance any projects for liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and to adopt a policy of not backing LNG export schemes. One of the proposals would be built on1,000 acres of land, potentially making it the largest facility of its kind in the country.

“It’s a destructive fossil fuel infrastructure project in the Gulf coast in one of the relatively untouched parts,” said Jason OpeƱa Disterhoft of the Rainforest Action Network, of the plan known as Texas LNG.

He said there “is some hypocrisy” in BNP’s involvement given that the company touts its green credentials. In the wake of the 2015 Paris agreement to address climate change, the bank said it was committed to responsible investment, such as financing renewable energy rather than coal mining, and minimizing atmospheric pollution as a result of its business activities.

France banned fracking in 2011 for environmental protection reasons. A spokeswoman for BNP’s US operation declined to comment on the report. Texas LNG did not respond to a request for comment.

Rebekah Hinojosa, an activist fighting the terminals, fears that construction would damage sacred Native American historical sites, harm endangered wildlife, tourism and the local shrimping industry and pollute and scar a relatively unscathed part of the coast, as well as threaten safety in the event of a disaster. Though proponents tout potential economic benefits for a deprived area, Hinojosa is concerned that the projects may ultimately cost more jobs than they create.

“That area is the beach of Texas. People come from all over the state and other nearby states to our beach because we are the last unindustrialised piece of coast along the Texas coastline,” she said. “It doesn’t have a refinery or smoke stacks on the horizon.”

Three LNG terminals are proposed for a part of the Rio Grande valley close to the city and port of Brownsville and the spring break destination of South Padre Island, one of Texas’s most popular beach resort areas. They would be only a couple of miles from the town of Port Isabel, which has a population of about 5,000.

The companies are hoping to take advantage of the fracking boom in Texas’s Eagle Ford shale formation, with gas to arrive at the Gulf coast via a new pipeline before being liquified and exported to international markets.

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Anonymous said...

First thing sierra club does is pull out some fake ass nomadic indians to claim ancient burial grounds that never existed.

Anonymous said...

Remember that scene from Poltergeist when the tractor digs up the dirt and a coffin comes up and the body falls out? Well at least we'd get to see abuelita again, right LNG!

It's not enough to massacre and steal land from the native Americans, but now you even want to pretend their graveyards don't exist? Jesus can you sink any lower. You would not tolerate it if some company wanted to plow through your grandma's grave, just because it was the cheapest straight line from oil to shore. Sin verguenza. You people would sell your soul for a buck