Energy Department Issues Final Rule on National Environmental Policy Act Reviews for Liquified Natural Gas

On December 4, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy issued a final rule addressing its implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for liquified natural gas (LNG) export facilities. The rule provides that DOE does not need to conduct NEPA reviews for LNG export facilities because it lacks authority to approve their construction or operation. Instead, its NEPA analysis would be triggered by the transfer of the LNG to certain cargo ships. The rule is likely to be the target of regulatory rollback from the incoming Biden administration or judicial challenge from environmental groups.

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