Louisiana Gov. Blanco Rejects Main Pass LNG Project

Citing her administration’s inability to “reach an acceptable comfort level with the potential risks” posed by open-loop LNG import facilities, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco vetoed Freeport-McMoRan’s Main Pass Energy Hub LNG project on Friday. “As stewards of the public trust, this office and our state agencies and executive departments, have both a constitutional and a statutory duty to preserve and protect Louisiana’s coastal and offshore marine environment, ecosystem, and fisheries for the benefit of our current and future citizens,” Blanco said in a letter to MARAD, the agency that issues licenses for offshore facilities. “The approval of the pending license application, without sufficient persuasive data in support, would be inconsistent with this public trust doctrine,” Blanco wrote in her letter of opposition to the federal Maritime Administration. Freeport expressed regret over Blanco’s veto, saying that the terminal would have provided the state with $85.6 million annually in revenue. The company said it will weigh other options before deciding on the project’s fate. Coverage is available in yesterday’s Times-Picayune.

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