Cheniere's (LNG) Pollution Rule Exemption Plea Denied by EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) recently stated that it has rejected Cheniere Energy’s LNG appeal to exempt turbines at its two U.S. Gulf Coast liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) export terminals from a hazardous pollution rule. Under the U.S. Clean Air Act, the rule enforces curbs on the emission of known carcinogens like formaldehyde and benzene from stationary combustion turbines.

LNG had earlier asked the Biden-led U.S. administration to exempt it from the limits on the emission of cancer-causing pollutants, arguing that it could force the company to shut operations for an extended period. This would jeopardize the country's efforts to scale up LNG supplies to Europe.

The turndown by the EPA, however, raises questions as to whether the firm will have to cut its exports of the supercooled fuel to set up new pollution control equipment at its units when Europe is relying heavily on the augmented shipments of LNG from the United States to offset slashed Russian imports.

Per the EPA, although it is denying LNG's demand for a special subcategory to comply with the turbines rule, the agency will carry on working with Cheniere and other firms to ensure that they meet the required regulations under the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Sep 5 was the deadline for gas turbine owners and operators to comply with the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, which the Biden government put into effect after an 18-year stay.

Cheniere spokesperson, Eben Burnham-Snyder, stated that the company strongly disagrees with the EPA's decision and that the Houston, TX-based firm will work in tandem with state and federal regulators to develop solutions that ensure compliance.

Cheniere Energy Inc. is primarily engaged in businesses related to LNG through its two business segments — LNG terminal and LNG and natural gas marketing. The company, through its controlling interest in Cheniere Energy Partners L.P., owns and operates the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Louisiana – North America’s first large-scale liquefied gas export facility.

Cheniere currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Some other similar-ranked stocks from the energy space that warrant a look include Gulfport Energy GPOR, Earthstone Energy ESTE and PBF Energy PBF. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Gulfport’s 2022 earnings has been revised about 10.8% upward over the past 60 days from $19.88 per share to $22.03.

Gulfport Energy is valued at around $1.89 billion. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for GPOR’s 2022 earnings is pegged at $22.03 per share.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Earthstone’s 2022 earnings stands at $5.85 per share, indicating an increase of about 368% from the year-ago earnings of $1.25.

ESTE beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in all the trailing four quarters, the average being around 27%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for PBF Energy’s 2022 earnings stands at $19.37 per share, indicating an increase of about 874.8% from the year-ago loss of $2.50.

PBF beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in all the trailing four quarters, the average being around 78%.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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