April 24, 2018

Citing Jobs and Economic Investment, Cassidy and Colleagues Urge Approval of Driftwood LNG Permits

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, along with Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) and U.S. Representatives Clay Higgins (R-LA), Steve Scalise (R-LA), Mike Johnson (R-LA), Ralph Abraham, M.D. (R-LA), and Garret Graves (R-LA), are calling on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Kevin McIntyre to approve necessary permits for the Driftwood LNG and Driftwood Pipeline projects in Southwest Louisiana.

The construction phase of the Driftwood Terminal and associated pipeline would create approximately 6,400 direct jobs. The projects are slated for construction to begin in 2019, with the first LNG liquefaction facility starting operation in 2023 and becoming fully operational in 2025. The members’ letter to Chairman McIntyre notes that the two projects enjoy widespread community support and have a combined investment impact of $16.5 billion.

The full text of the members’ letter is below.

Dear Chairman McIntyre:

We are writing in support of the timely processing of the permit applications submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Driftwood LNG terminal and the Driftwood Pipeline.  These projects began FERC’s Pre-filing in 2016 and represent significant economic opportunity for the State of Louisiana

As you know, in the Federal Register (FR) on January 3, 2018, FERC published a Notice of Schedule for the Environmental Review of the Driftwood LNG Project.  The notice identifies a schedule of June 2018 for a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and issuance of a final EIS by October 12, 2018.    It is imperative that the permits for these projects are completed by the issuance date stated in the FR.

Combined, these projects represent a planned investment of more than $16.5 billion, including $15 billion for the Driftwood Terminal and $1.5 billion for the associated pipeline.  Construction is expected to begin in 2019, with the first LNG liquefaction facility starting operation in 2023, and envisions a fully-operational facility by 2025.  An investment of this magnitude will provide thousands of highly-skilled construction jobs over a period of six years, and ongoing economic opportunities for the state and its citizens thereafter.  The construction of the Driftwood terminal will directly employ approximately 5,400 workers, and construction on the pipeline will directly employ more than 1,000 people.   Due to the size and scope of this endeavor, we have encouraged the company to provide us regular updates on the plan, and to engage all local and state stake-holders regularly.  It is our understanding that the project enjoys substantial community and state support, and that the application is uncontested.  

As such, considering the benefits to the Louisiana economy, the uncontested nature of the application, and the overwhelming local and state support for the project, we respectfully request that FERC review the application as expeditiously as possible to ensure adherence to the timeline outlined in the scheduling notice, especially with respect to the issuance of the draft EIS in June 2018.

Thank you for your attention and leadership.   Please do let us know if there are any issues that would present challenges to keeping pace with the published schedule.