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DOE LNG export analysis ‘inadequate’

LNG Industry,

Yesterday the Sierra Club, a grassroots environmental organisation in the US, filed technical comments on documents belonging to the US Department of Energy (DOE), which discuss environmental impacts of exporting LNG.

In its comments, Sierra Club said that the DOE’s analysis was inaccurate, as it failed to take into account the effects of increased US gas production (e.g. increases in greenhouse gas emissions) that would come with LNG exports. This, the organisation said, was inconsistent with the administrations’ aim to cut climate pollution emissions by 17% come 2020.

Sierra Club criticised the DOE’s assumption that LNG exports represented a one-for-one displacement of other fossil fuel use in end-use markets. LNG exports, the organisation said, would prevent non-renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind from coming online.

Sierra Club attorney Nathan Matthews said: "The Sierra Club applauds the DOE for proposing to end the practice of conditionally approving LNG export applications before an environmental review has been conducted, as well as recognising the need to consider LNG's entire emissions footprint, from the wellhead on. It's never made sense to evaluate LNG exports without knowing the impact they would have on the environment and on our climate, so this announcement is a step in the right direction.

DOE analysis "falls short"

"The DOE is part of an administration that wants to address climate disruption head-on,” Matthews continued. “However, the DOE's analysis of LNG lifecycle emissions falls short on several fronts. First, it needs to reflect the many recent studies that show that EPA has drastically underestimated the amount of methane leaked during gas production. Equally important, the analysis fails to take into account that LNG will displace new clean energy projects in the importing countries, and the increase in drilling and fracking to meet export demand will increase overall carbon pollution emissions, putting it at odds with the Administration's goal to reduce carbon pollution emissions 17% by 2020."

Adapted from press release by Ted Monroe

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