Houston, Texas –  At least 35 different insurance companies are responsible for underwriting liquified methane export terminal projects across the U.S Gulf South, according to a report released today by Rainforest Action Network and Public Citizen. The analysis, based on documents obtained through open record requests, details the insurance coverage for existing and projected methane gas infrastructure that, if built, will export the same yearly greenhouse gas emissions as 239 coal plants. The report, Risk Exposure: The Insurers Secretly Backing the Methane Gas Boom in the US Gulf South reveals, Axis, Chubb, Swiss Re, and Sompo as backers, a surprising find as these companies earned better ratings for their climate policies in the most recent Insure Our Future scorecard. Other insurers include the usual supporters of fossil fuels like Liberty Mutual, AIG, The Hartford, Travelers, Berkshire Hathaway, and Lloyd’s of London.

The insurance industry seldom reveals which fossil fuel project or company is underwritten by a given insurance provider. The documents unearthed in government requests allow the public transparency around who is insuring which project. Consider: when energy company NextDecade made plans to build the Rio Grande LNG terminal in Brownsville, Texas, leaders from the Carrizo Comecrudo tribe and town locals sought information on who would insure the project. After multiple calls, letters, and meetings, no company would disclose their involvement. However, documents obtained via government request acts revealed Liberty Mutual and Chubb subsidiaries actively underwriting the project. This information allows the community to dialogue with companies about supporting a project that will be larger than New York’s Central Park, negatively impact tourism, dig up ancestral lands, harm the health of local citizens, and devastate the environment.

Estimates done by Insuramore suggest that fossil fuel premiums earned the insurance industry around $21.25 billion in 2022. Chubb and AIG, two companies who repeatedly showed up on these certificates, are among the world’s top 10 fossil fuel insurers with earnings in 2022 of $700 million and $550 million respectively. Meanwhile, insurance payouts doubled in the last ten years to an average of $110 billion annually since 2017 for climate-related disasters.


“If built, Texas LNG, Rio Grande LNG, and their proposed Rio Bravo Pipeline would destroy our low-income Latine community’s way of life. Pollution from these mega LNG/methane export terminals would degrade the waterways where shrimp lay their eggs, and our people fish to feed their families. We’re calling on these insurance companies to stop insuring LNG/methane terminals because they are blatant environmental racism.” – Bekah Hinojosa, South Texas Environmental Justice Network 


“These companies are insuring one of the largest build out of fossil fuels in the world, from investment to underwriting, these companies are culpable for providing material support through millions in coverage, while simultaneously abandoning communities in Texas and Louisiana.” – Mary Lovell, Energy Finance Campaigner, Rainforest Action Network.

“AIG, like other major U.S. insurers, presents itself as a victim of climate change when it’s actually complicit in the harm and undermining its climate commitments by continuing to support methane facilities. Communities deserve to know who is insuring the toxic LNG terminals that harm Gulf south ecosystems, livelihoods, and their health planet,” Kerrina Williams, climate campaigner coordinator with Public Citizen’s Climate Program.


Read the full report here

Contact: Patrick Davis, pdavis@citizen.org, 608-770-4800


Link to certificates