To Chubb, Liberty Mutual, Sompo, and all insurance companies with ties to methane gas expansion in the US Gulf Coast and everywhere:
It is imperative that you listen to Indigenous and impacted communities and immediately stop insuring methane gas expansion in the Rio Grande Valley. By underwriting the proposed Rio Grande LNG methane export terminal, your company is supporting the continued environmental racism in the Gulf by perpetuating the displacement, pollution, and physical harm of impacted communities.
The Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas, who are the original Indigenous people of the region, have not given their Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) for Rio Grande LNG. The project’s failure to do so is a violation of international law. The Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe have documented the nonconsensual bulldozing of their pristine, ancestral lands and sacred sites for Rio Grande LNG. The proposed site is on the same swath of land as “Garcia Pasture,” a historical sacred site with ancestral burial grounds and villages recognized by the World Monuments Fund. The Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe and low-income Latine residents continue to denounce Rio Grande LNG, Texas LNG, and Rio Bravo Pipeline projects as a clear case of environmental racism in the Rio Grande Valley.
There’s nothing natural about methane gas expansion (aka so-called liquefied “natural” gas or LNG). Methane gas has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere. Methane gas continues to be touted by industry, governments, and insurance companies as a “bridge fuel,” even after the International Energy Agency stated that in their special report, Net Zero by 2050: A Road Map for the Global Energy Sector, “No new natural gas fields are needed in the Net Zero Emissions beyond those already under development. Also not needed are many of the LNG liquefaction facilities currently under construction or at the planning stage.”
Time is running out for transformative action to tackle the climate crisis. As the IPCC report puts it: “There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.” Lengthy “transition periods” to continue business as usual are simply too little too late. You must take urgent action by ruling out methane-intensive projects like Rio Grande LNG.
Methane is highly volatile, and this build-out poses especially dangerous explosion risks. Look no further than the huge explosion at Freeport LNG in June 2022 that resulted in a 450-foot fireball. Rio Grande LNG (and the neighboring planned Texas LNG and Rio Bravo Pipeline) are within approximately six miles of the SpaceX facility, which has had multiple explosions in just the last year and even resulted in the hospitalization of a child. After an explosion in April 2023, SpaceX rocket debris was found on the site of proposed LNG facilities, demonstrating the increased risk from the proximity to the site. The most recent launch created a 3.0 earthquake in a region that does not have earthquakes. The empirical explosive risk of these facilities is an alarming warning to any sensible, risk-averse insurer.
Despite climate and community impacts and years of community resistance, Rio Grande LNG is set to move forward. As a leading global property and casualty insurer, your company has the power and responsibility to listen to Indigenous and impacted communities and make crucial changes for people and the planet by publicly ruling out methane and Rio Grande LNG immediately, before the insurance renewal in March 2024.
We need meaningful climate solutions before it’s too late.