Despite its clear anti-oil stance, the Biden administration has just approved a new oil export terminal for the Texas Gulf Coast, which will become the country’s biggest piece of oil export infrastructure.
While the new terminal will add some 2 million barrels per day of new export capacity, the news failed to garner much public attention and the project was green-lighted very quietly, according to the Texas Tribune.
The approval comes amid suggestions from Democrats in Congress that the U.S. should curb oil exports to secure local supply.
The Tribune noted that the approval of the project was filed at the beginning of the week, after the end of the COP27 climate conference. However, the regulatory approval of the Sea Port Oil Terminal didn’t go completely unnoticed.
“President Biden cannot lead on combating climate change, protecting public health or advocating for environmental justice while simultaneously allowing fossil fuel companies to lock-in decades of fossil fuel extraction,” said the senior policy advocate for Earthworks, a climate nonprofit.
The Houston Chronicle suggested in an earlier report, however, that regulatory approval does not guarantee construction. The news outlet reported that if built, the Sea Port Oil Terminal would be the first of four projects proposed in 2019 to materialize. The goal of these projects was to make oil-loading more efficient and reduce transportation costs.
“It is gratifying to see the Maritime Administration recognize the significant environmental and maritime safety advantages of SPOT compared to current industry practice," said Enterprise Products Partners, the company behind the Sea Port Oil Terminal.
The project involves building a terminal about 30 miles south of Freeport, in Surfside, and a pipeline that will carry oil to the offshore facility from Enterprise Products Partners’ regional network. The new terminal will make it much easier to load larger tankers that normal Gulf Coast ports cannot accommodate.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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