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Jeremy Weber, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh
Jeremy Weber teaches and researches the policy and economics of environmental and energy issues. He has extensive policy experience, having worked as a research economist at a Federal statistical agency (the Economic Research Service) and as a chief economist at the White House (the Council of Economic Advisers). He also has an international perspective, which he gained from field research in Brazil and Peru and from working at the World Bank.
In 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruled that small-scale facilities that export liquified natural gas (LNG) via truck-sized containers fall outside their jurisdiction. Since then, exports via containers have grown while various groups contend that the exports lack proper oversight. We describe current local, state, and federal oversight of small-scale export facilities and the current risks of 1) environmental injustice in siting, 2) leaks and incidents from operations, and 3) incidents in transport. The current governance arrangement does not appear to lead to environmental injustice in facility siting. Regarding other risks, the average small-scale liquefaction facility had a leak approximately once every four years, an operation’s incident (e.g., a major leak) once every 70 years, and a trucking incident approximately once every 60 years. FERC oversight and the resulting environmental assessments do not appear to reduce risks from operations as evidenced by leak and incident rates for small-scale facilities with and without FERC oversight.