LNG: LNG bad for climate: US Dept of Energy report

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PostedJune 20, 2014 by Common Sense Canadian in International

LNG bad for climate - US Dept of Energy report

Despite all the assurances by BC Premier Christy Clark that LNG is “the cleanest fossil fuel on the planet”, the evidence paints a very different picture. Check out this June 4 Climate Progress storyby Joe Romm on a new report from the US Department of Energy confirming that emissions from shale gas and LNG are higher than those from coal-fired power.

An explosive new report from the U.S. Department of Energy makes clear that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is likely a climate-destroying misallocation of resources.

That is, if one uses estimates for methane leakage based on actual observations.

This is the same conclusion I reached back in 2012, based on

  • Emerging analyses of how even a relatively low leakage rate in the natural gas production and delivery system negate its climate benefit, and
  • A 2009 EU report on how the energy-intensive liquefaction process and transportation further increase LNG emissions.

Again, natural gas is mostly methane, and some 86 times (to as much as 105 times) better at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

One of the country’s leading experts on natural gas leaks told me, “a close reading of the DOE report in the context of the recent literature indicates that exporting natural gas from the U.S. as LNG is a very poor idea.”

So you may wonder why the Financial Times had this headline on its story: “US LNG exports could help countries curb emissions.”

To make LNG a climate winner, you’d have to assume levels of methane leakage that are a factor of 2 to 3 lower than what recent observations reveal. That is exactly what DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) does in its analysis, “Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Perspective on Exporting Liquefied Natural Gas from the United States.”

READ MORE: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/06/04/3443211/energy-department-lng-no-climate-benefits/

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