This PDF is the current document as it appeared on Public Inspection on 07/18/2016 at 08:45 am.
Office of Fossil Energy, DOE.
Notice of application.
The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy (DOE) gives notice of receipt of an application, filed on December 23, 2015, amended on June 7, 2016 (Application), by Rio Grande LNG, LLC (Rio Grande LNG). Rio Grande LNG requests long-term, multi-contract authorization to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) in a volume equivalent to approximately 1,318 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per year of natural gas (3.61 Bcf per day). Rio Grande LNG seeks to export the LNG by vessel from its proposed natural gas liquefaction and LNG export terminal to be located in Cameron County, Texas, along the north embankment of the Brownsville Ship Channel (Rio Grande LNG Project). Rio Grande LNG requests authorization to export this LNG to any country with Start Printed Page 46919which the United States does not have a free trade agreement (FTA) requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas, and with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy (non-FTA countries). Rio Grande LNG seeks authorization to export this LNG for (a) a single 20-year primary term applicable to the entire Rio Grande LNG Project consisting of six (6) liquefaction trains commencing on the earlier of (i) the date of first export from the first of the Rio Grande LNG Project's trains to be commissioned, or (ii) seven (7) years from the date of the DOE/FE order authorizing such exports, coupled with (b) a five (5) year Make-Up Period at the conclusion of the 20-year primary term. Rio Grande LNG seeks to export this LNG on its own behalf and as agent for other entities who hold title to the LNG at the time of export. The Application was filed under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA). Additional details can be found in Rio Grande LNG's Application, posted on the DOE/FE Web site at: https://cms.doe.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/07/f33/Rio_Grande15_190-LNG_App.pdf and in the amendment to the Application, posted on the DOE/FE Web site at: https://cms.doe.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/07/f33/RGLNG_Amend06_07_16.pdf. Protests, motions to intervene, notices of intervention, and written comments are invited.
Protests, motions to intervene or notices of intervention, as applicable, requests for additional procedures, and written comments are to be filed using procedures detailed in the Public Comment Procedures section no later than 4:30 p.m., Eastern time, September 19, 2016.
Electronic Filing by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regular Mail: U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, P.O. Box 44375, Washington, DC 20026-4375.
Hand Delivery or Private Delivery Services (e.g., FedEx, UPS, etc.): U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Beverly Howard, or Larine Moore, U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9387; (202) 586-9578.
Edward Myers, U.S. Department of Energy (GC-76), Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Electricity and Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9793.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
The Application will be reviewed pursuant to section 3(a) of the NGA, 15 U.S.C. 717b(a), and DOE will consider any issues required by law or policy. To the extent determined to be relevant, these issues will include the domestic need for the natural gas proposed to be exported, the adequacy of domestic natural gas supply, and U.S. energy security. DOE may also consider other factors bearing on the public interest, including the impact of the proposed exports on the U.S. economy, international considerations, and whether the authorization is consistent with DOE's policy of promoting competition in the marketplace by allowing commercial parties to freely negotiate their own trade arrangements. As part of this analysis, DOE will consider the following two studies examining the cumulative impacts of exporting domestically produced LNG:
- Effect of Increased Levels of Liquefied Natural Gas on U.S. Energy Markets, conducted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration upon DOE's request (2014 EIA LNG Export Study);  and
- The Macroeconomic Impact of Increasing U.S. LNG Exports, conducted jointly by the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy and Oxford Economics, on behalf of DOE (2015 LNG Export Study).
Additionally, DOE will consider the following environmental documents:
- Addendum to Environmental Review Documents Concerning Exports of Natural Gas From the United States, 79 FR 48132 (Aug. 15, 2014);  and
- Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Perspective on Exporting Liquefied Natural Gas From the United States, 79 FR 32260 (June 4, 2014).
Parties that may oppose this Application should address these issues in their comments and/or protests, as well as other issues deemed relevant to the Application.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., requires DOE to give appropriate consideration to the environmental effects of its proposed decisions. No final decision will be issued in this proceeding until DOE has met its environmental responsibilities.
Public Comment Procedures
In response to this Notice, any person may file a protest, comments, or a motion to intervene or notice of intervention, as applicable. Due to the complexity of the issues raised by the Applicant, interested persons will be provided 60 days from the date of publication of this Notice in which to submit comments, protests, motions to intervene, or notices of intervention.
Any person wishing to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene or notice of intervention. The filing of comments or a protest with respect to the Application will not serve to make the commenter or protestant a party to the proceeding, although protests and comments received from persons who are not parties will be considered in determining the appropriate action to be taken on the Application. All protests, comments, motions to intervene, or notices of intervention must meet the requirements specified by the regulations in 10 CFR part 590.
Filings may be submitted using one of the following methods: (1) Emailing the filing to email@example.com, with FE Docket No. 15-190-LNG in the title line; (2) mailing an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Regulation and International Engagement at the address listed in ADDRESSES; or (3) hand delivering an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Regulation and International Engagement at the address Start Printed Page 46920listed in ADDRESSES. All filings must include a reference to FE Docket No. 15-190-LNG. Please Note: If submitting a filing via email, please include all related documents and attachments (e.g., exhibits) in the original email correspondence. Please do not include any active hyperlinks or password protection in any of the documents or attachments related to the filing. All electronic filings submitted to DOE must follow these guidelines to ensure that all documents are filed in a timely manner. Any hardcopy filing submitted greater in length than 50 pages must also include, at the time of the filing, a digital copy on disk of the entire submission.
A decisional record on the Application will be developed through responses to this notice by parties, including the parties' written comments and replies thereto. Additional procedures will be used as necessary to achieve a complete understanding of the facts and issues. If an additional procedure is scheduled, notice will be provided to all parties. If no party requests additional procedures, a final Opinion and Order may be issued based on the official record, including the Application and responses filed by parties pursuant to this notice, in accordance with 10 CFR 590.316.
The Application is available for inspection and copying in the Office of Regulation and International Engagement docket room, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. The docket room is open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
The Application and any filed protests, motions to intervene or notice of interventions, and comments will also be available electronically by going to the following DOE/FE Web address: http://www.fe.doe.gov/programs/gasregulation/index.html.Start Signature
Issued in Washington, DC, on July 13, 2016.
John A. Anderson,
Director, Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Oil and Natural Gas.
1. In the Application, Rio Grande LNG also requests authorization to export the same volume of LNG to any nation that currently has, or in the future may enter into, a FTA requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas, and with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy (FTA countries). DOE/FE will review that request separately pursuant to section 3(c) of the Natural Gas Act, 15 U.S.C. § 717b(c).Back to Citation
2. Rio Grande's proposed request is uniquely structured due to the scope of the Rio Grande LNG Project. The Rio Grande Project will be the largest LNG export project in the U.S. to be developed in a single phase.Back to Citation
3. The 2014 EIA LNG Export Study, published on Oct. 29, 2014, is available at: https://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/fe/.Back to Citation
4. The 2015 LNG Export Study, dated Oct. 29, 2015, is available at: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/12/f27/20151113_macro_impact_of_lng_exports_0.pdf.Back to Citation
5. The Addendum and related documents are available at http://energy.gov/fe/addendum-environmental-review-documents-concerning-exports-natural-gas-united-states.Back to Citation
6. The Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Report is available at: http://energy.gov/fe/life-cycle-greenhouse-gas-perspective-exporting-liquefied-natural-gas-united-states.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 2016-17025 Filed 7-18-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P