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Cancellation of Fracking Project in Texas Shows Power of Grassroots Organizing

The project was one of three proposed fracked natural gas terminals in the Rio Grande Valley. 

Rio Grande Valley residents, including Native and environmental activists, participate in an annual climate march and rally on March 3, 2019, protesting a planned border wall segment’s potential impacts on the land and wildlife in the area.

In what Indigenous and environmental activists hailed as a testament to the power of grassroots organizing, a leading U.S. fossil fuel company on Monday announced the cancellation of a planned fracked natural gas terminal in southern Texas.

Reuters reports liquefied natural gas developer Annova LNG said it will immediately discontinue work on the Brownsville export terminal “due to changes in the global LNG market.” The company’s facility would have been capable of exporting 6.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of liquefied natural gas. The project was one of three proposed fracked natural gas terminals in the Rio Grande Valley.

“If built, Annova LNG would have destroyed wetlands, blocked a wildlife corridor threatening the survival of endangered wildlife, and put communities needlessly at risk,” said the Sierra Club in a statement Monday.

“Today’s victory is the result of six years of tireless efforts of the Rio Grande Valley communities in South Texas who have written comments, attended hearings, protested banks, and more to protect their health, their precious coastline, and the climate from Annova LNG’s proposed fracked gas project,” said Sierra Club Gulf Coast Campaign representative Bekah Hinojosa.

“No LNG export terminal has any place in our communities or our energy future, and today’s news is a step in the right direction to putting an end to exporting fracked gas across the world,” she added.

Juan Mancias, chairman of the Carrizo Comecrudo tribe, welcomed the cancellation in a statement.

“Ayema ahua’p pele maute alpa Esto’k Gna,” he said — It is a good day to be a human being.

“Thank you to all who have worked so hard to fight this fracked gas project and protect our sacred lands from pollution,” said Mancias. “There’s more work to do to ensure other proposed fracked gas export terminals, which would desecrate our burial sites and sacred lands, are never built, but today we celebrate this important victory for our people and our environment. The other two Rio Grande Valley proposed LNG terminals must be stopped.”

In addition to the cancelled Annova terminal, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission during the administration of former President Donald Trump also approved Texas LNG Brownsville’s proposal for a four million metric tons per year terminal at the Brownsville Ship Canal and Rio Grande LNG’s Rio Bravo pipeline terminal at the Port of Brownsville.

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