But Wait, There’s More: National Center for LNG Safety to be located in LC, too

Published 10:37 am Tuesday, May 7, 2024

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) has confirmed with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg that the National Center of Excellence for Liquified Natural Gas “Safety” would be located in Lake Charles.

On Monday,  the LNG Center of Excellence at McNeese State University celebrated the start of construction with a groundbreaking ceremony of its own.

Jason French, executive director for the LNG Center, said Kennedy’s announcement was additional good news for Lake Charles, and possibly the center.  We’d be having this groundbreaking with or without Kennedy’s announcement, French said, but we probably wouldn’t have this without Kennedy and our Southwest Louisiana federal delegation.

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In 2020, Kennedy advocated for the creation of a new National Center of Excellence for LNG Safety, and drafted legislation to guarantee it would be built in Louisiana. Congressional acts and legislation since that time have  culminated in the formation of another group that will have the authority to establish and enforce safety regulations for onshore LNG facilities.

The National Excellence for Liquified Natural Gas Safety will be administered under PHMSA, The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, under the Department of Transportation, according to French.

“This could have been placed anywhere in the nation, “ French said.

Kennedy’s  announcement confirmed it would be Lake Charles, and that should mean high-level federal jobs for the area.

Heather Hohensee, government and public affairs director for Driftwood, a Tellurian LNG Export facility, said PHMSA being here will be “hugely transformative for Southwest Louisiana” and it is “only fitting that it should be located here.”