Press Releases

October 27, 2016

New Study Exposes Serious Threats to Texas Coastal Communities

For release, 6am EST October 27, 2016

CONTACT:

Virali Modi-Parekh, Rainforest Action Network: +1 510 747 8476, virali@ran.org 

New Study Exposes Serious Threats to Texas Coastal Communities
Warns Financial institutions against investing in 
short-sighted ‘fracked gas’ infrastructure 

SAN FRANCISCO—A study released today by Rainforest Action Network (RAN) reveals significant hazards posed by the development of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals in the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas. The report, Rio Grande Valley: At Risk from Fracked Gas Terminals, documents in detail how the projects would harm the the climate, the environment and the health and economy of surrounding communities and warns banks against investing in this infrastructure.

Rio Grande Valley is a wetlands paradise for falcons, highly endangered ocelots, and fisheries. It also is home to thriving fishing, shrimping, and ecotourism industries that stand to be ruined by the proposed onslaught of fracked gas terminals: almost 2,400 acres of sprawling industrial facilities, including flaring towers hundreds of feet tall, millions of gallons of effluent releases and a quadrupling of local air pollution. The report shows how these export facilities are the lynchpin in a long process of greenhouse gas pollution, starting with fracking wells that leak methane, to dangerous pipelines, to these terminals that then export LNG on massive tankers to be burned abroad.

Since 2013, major banks have sunk $467 billion for companies building LNG export infrastructure. The proposed terminals are part of a national frenzy to build out dozens of terminals for gas export, virtually guaranteeing that many will end up as stranded assets. Learning from the cautionary tale of the coal industry, another dirty energy commodity that went bust, banks would do well to steer clear of this financial gamble.

“This study puts banks on notice: fracked gas and its infrastructure is a bridge to disaster for places like the Rio Grande Valley. These projects export a commodity that is even worse for the climate than coal and represent a blatant deviation from U.S. climate commitments,” said Jason Opeña Disterhoft, Senior Campaigner with Rainforest Action Network.

At a time when the world’s nations have agreed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change, leading financial institutions have continued business as usual investment in extreme fossil fuels in direct contradiction of global consensus. If governments follow through on the Paris agreement and limit carbon emissions, these investments could likely result in significant losses.

To download the full study, visit: http://www.ran.org/rgv

For more background on the risks of LNG export, please visit: http://www.ran.org/bridge_to_nowhere

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Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org


 

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