PRESS RELEASE: New Report Shows Chronic Underreporting of Violations, Operational Failures at Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass Gas Export Terminal 63% of First Half of 2023
As federal government weighs granting Venture Global gas export permits, findings demonstrate Venture Global’s lack of transparency and inability to operate in compliance with permits, prompting call to deny future permits
A new report released by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and Fishermen Involved in Sustaining our Heritage (FISH) reveals significant, ongoing operational problems and demonstrates a pattern of underreporting violations at Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass (CP) gas export terminal since it began operating in January 2022. The findings, compiled from residents’ photographic documentation and Venture Global’s Title V Semiannual Monitoring Report, show recurring incidents of equipment malfunctions and permit violations, near-constant flaring, and regular emission exceedances – all of which the company underreported in the first half of 2023.
“Venture Global’s operations in Louisiana have been disastrous from day one,” said Anne Rolfes, Louisiana Bucket Brigade executive director. “There is no way that a company that causes this much harm should receive permits to build additional facilities in our state.”
The report reveals:
- Neighbors’ documentation combined with CP’s reports show operational problems are recorded on 115 of 181 days in the first half of the year, or 63% of the time.
- Neighbors documented at least 7 days where CP was flaring throughout the entire day, with no explanation as to the cause or what was emitted.
- Community members documented flaring on 34 days between January – June 2023 which have no corresponding accident report from Venture Global.
Of Venture Global’s track record, environmental journalist Sara Sneath was clear, “My reporting on Venture Global since they first came to Louisiana has shown a pattern of excessive emissions in violation of the company’s own permits.” She went on, “The design flaw causing excessive emissions with the Calcasieu Pass facility could become an issue with the company’s proposed facilities.”
Speaking on gas export terminals’ impacts on the seafood industry, Eddie Lejuine, lifelong Cameron fisherman, said in the report, “I am 60 years old, and as far as I can remember, my dad was in Castle Bayou right here, and Joe’s Cove catching oysters. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been in the boat with my dad. And my kids, in a few more years, the way things are, they won’t ever see that enjoyment.”
Report recommendations include compensation for fishermen whose livelihoods have been affected, rejecting future permits for Venture Global and shutting down Calcasieu Pass due to its consistent, long running operational failures.
Evidence of Venture Global’s efforts to downplay continued operational failures come as applications are pending for the buildout of a second, larger gas export terminal in Cameron Parish, Calcasieu Pass 2 (CP2), and construction continues on another terminal in Plaquemines Parish, Plaquemines LNG. According to Venture Global, both of these terminals will be ‘technologically identical’ to CP.
CP began operations in January 2022 and had over 2,000 permit violations in its first year. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality issued a compliance order against Venture Global for its permit violations at CP. Despite guarantees that issues would be remedied, CP is on track to repeat excessive violations and patterns of substandard reporting in 2023.
Venture Global has earned over $18 billion selling gas from CP since it began operations in January 2022. Venture Global earned such high profits by selling on the spot market, rather than fulfilling their contracts. The company has been able to do so by claiming the facility is still in its ‘pre-commissioning’ phase because operational problems have kept the company from reaching full commercial operations.
However, this practice has raised questions as to whether Venture Global is slow-walking repairs to CP, thereby continuing to pollute the local community’s air, in order to justify extending its pre-commissioning phase to nearly two years. Normally, the pre-commissioning phase is two to three months.
This report is the third of Louisiana Bucket Brigade’s Gas Export Spotlight series, which investigates the hazardous and often unreported accidents at Southwest Louisiana’s gas export terminals.
View a recording of the full media briefing discussing the report here.
Elon Glickman, 818-669-2859, firstname.lastname@example.org, on behalf of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade
Anne Rolfes, Executive Director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, 504-452-4909, email@example.com
About Louisiana Bucket Brigade
The Louisiana Bucket Brigade uses grassroots action to support communities impacted by the petrochemical industry and hasten the transition from fossil fuels.