By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Two years ago, residents and those with business interests penciled in the summer of 2017 on their calendars as the time the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) could potentially announce its decision regarding the applications of three energy companies seeking to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals along the Port of Brownsville. Summer 2017 has arrived with no word yet from FERC, but the lack of news hasn’t stopped locals opposed to the facilities from meeting to strategize how to continue that opposition.
“I am part of Save RGV from LNG, which is a group of people and organizations that started in May of 2014 because that’s when we started hearing about LNG — liquefied natural gas. And the plan at that time, five companies had gotten leases, or options for leases at the Port of Brownsville to build LNG terminals,” said Jim Chapman at the start of a small gathering at the Port Isabel Community Center Monday evening.
The group was a small one — less than 10 people in all, not including Chapman. Some of those gathered are members of another group known as Friends of the Laguna Madre. Chapman, himself, is a member of the Rio Grande Valley chapter of the Sierra Club, which is an environmental rights organization with members and chapters across the country. Together, the group, which milled about catching up while eating finger foods prior to the meeting’s start, represent a portion of a larger grassroots movement — Save RGV from LNG — created to oppose the construction of the export terminals.
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