For Immediate Release, March 13, 2007
Brendan Cummings, Center for Biological Diversity, (760) 366-2232 x 304
Steve Holmer, American Bird Conservancy, (202) 234-7181 x 216
Chevron Abandons Plans for Liquefied Natural Gas Facility
On U.S.-Mexico Border
Decision Follows Ruling by NAFTA Recommending Investigation of Proposal
To Build Terminal Next to Endangered Seabird Colonies on Coronado Islands
SAN FRANCISCO— In a victory for conservationists, Chevron today announced it is abandoning plans to build a liquefied natural gas facility next to the Coronado Islands, a biodiversity hotspot just south of the U.S. border in Mexico.
Chevron’s decision to cancel the project follows a recent ruling by the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, a tri-national environmental commission set up pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which rejected a request by Chevron to suspend an investigation into whether Mexico violated its own laws in approving the facility.
In 2005, U.S. and Mexican conservation organizations filed a formal petition with the commission to challenge the Mexican government’s granting of permits to Chevron to build the natural-gas terminal just 600 yards from the Coronado Islands. These islands, located 11 miles south of the border, provide critical nesting habitat for six threatened or endangered seabird species and ten other species of plants and animals found nowhere else in the world.
“This natural-gas facility would have been such a disaster to seabirds that it could not lawfully be built in the United States,” said Brendan Cummings, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Fortunately for the seabirds of the Coronado Islands, Chevron realized that building the terminal in Mexico was also a bad idea.”
“This is a big win for endangered wildlife,” said George Fenwick, president of American Bird Conservancy. “A facility that would have been devastating for the Xantus’s murrelet will now not be built.”
The Xantus’s murrelet is currently under consideration for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and is extremely sensitive to disturbance and light pollution. The Coronado Islands house the largest remaining breeding colonies of the species.
The original petition to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation was submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity, American Bird Conservancy, Greenpeace Mexico, Alfonso Aguirre, Shaye Wolf, Los Angeles Audubon, Pacific Environment, and Wildcoast.
A copy of the petition and supporting documents are available at
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s announcement and finding are available at