Opponents may sue to block U.S. loans for Australia LNG projects
() - Three conservation organizations have notified government officials that they plan to sue the U.S. Export-Import Bank over its backing of two LNG terminals proposed for construction near Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The Center for Biological Diversity, Pacific Environment and Turtle Island Restoration Network Aug. 2 gave a required 60-day notice of intent to sue the bank over its participation in the two projects if financial commitments are finalized.
"The U.S. really shouldn't be subsidizing new fossil fuel projects anywhere on the planet," Sarah Uhlemann, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. In a letter to top officials at the Ex-Im Bank, National Marine Fisheries Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Interior Department, the groups charge that the bank has made or is close to making financial commitments to two projects that would have serious impacts within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
The developments are the Australia Pacific LNG Project and Queensland Curtis LNG Project. The bank said in May it would help finance the Australia Pacific Project. "Our authorization paves the way for U.S. companies to export equipment and services to this major LNG project and, in so doing, to maintain thousands of American jobs across the country," bank President Fred Hochberg said at the time. The bank has not announced any financing for the Queensland Curtis LNG project.