The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Why U.S. LNG Exports to Asia Would Be Worse Than Building a New Coal Plant in China
While researchers have already exposed how the presence of methane debunks the notion that natural gas is a clean energy option, a new study shows that things don't get any better when the gas is liquified and exported.
Ironically, that study comes from the U.S. Department of Energy—the same agency that has been approving liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals in places like Oregon and Maryland. Despite its intention of presenting LNG in a positive light when compared to coal, the DOE study, "Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Perspective on Exporting Liquefied Natural Gas from the United States," actually ends up showing that LNG exports to China would impact the climate in a worse fashion than if China constructed its a new coal-fired plant.
Yet again, methane is the reason why.
LNG exports offer a climate advantage over coal in a 100-year scenario or "lifecycle," the DOE concludes. However, over the next 20 years—when the U.S. and others want to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions—the impact is worse, analysts at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) realized after looking at the DOE report.
"Given the fact that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in their latest report that global greenhouse gas emissions will have to fall between 40 to 70 percent within the first half of this century to avoid irreversible climate ‘tipping points,' there is a compelling scientific rationale for using the 20-year instead of 100-year timeframe when measuring methane emissions," CCAN Chief Policy Analyst James McGarry and Director Mike Tidwell wrote in a summary paper.
The LNG lifecycle leakage rate would need to stay below 1.9 percent when exporting to Europe and and 1.4 percent for Asian exports. However, model rate in the DOE report is 1.6 percent when comparing U.S. LNG and foreign natural gas to coal.
"So according to DOE, LNG exported to Europe could be about 84 percent as bad as coal over 20 years, while LNG exported to Asia could be about 114 percent as bad as coal," McGarry and Tidwell wrote.
The DOE claimed an advantage over a lifecycle, despite the White House stating that methane presents about 20 times the global warming effect of carbon dioxide when President Barack Obama announced a plan specifically for methane in March.
“[The DOE is] putting together a best case scenario and still you get worse than regional coal over 20 years,” Tidwell told the Washington Post. “If you take anything other than this rosy scenario you get significantly worse than coal over 20 years. The whole clean gas argument for shipping it to our friends falls apart.
"This is the first official quantification of the realistic weakness of part of their core argument.”
YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Daisy Brickhill
Each morning, men living in fishing communities along Ghana's coastline push off in search of the day's catch. But when the boats come back to shore, it's the women who take over.
By Sam Nickerson
Links between excess sugar in your diet and disease have been well-documented, but new research by Harvard's School of Public Health might make you even more wary of that next soda: it could increase your risk of an early death.
The study, published this week in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, found that drinking one or two sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) each day — like sodas or sports drinks — increases risk of an early death by 14 percent.
Tyson Foods Recalls Nearly 70,000 Pounds of Chicken Strips After Customers Find ‘Fragments of Metal’
Tyson Foods is recalling approximately 69,093 pounds of frozen chicken strips because they may have been contaminated with pieces of metal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday.
The affected products were fully-cooked "Buffalo Style" and "Crispy" chicken strips with a "use by" date of Nov. 30, 2019 and an establishment number of "P-7221" on the back of the package.
"FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers' freezers," the recall notice said. "Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."
Environmental exposure to pesticides, both before birth and during the first year of life, has been linked to an increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorder, according to the largest epidemiological study to date on the connection.
The study, published Wednesday in BMJ, found that pregnant women who lived within 2,000 meters (approximately 1.2 miles) of a highly-sprayed agricultural area in California had children who were 10 to 16 percent more likely to develop autism and 30 percent more likely to develop severe autism that impacted their intellectual ability. If the children were exposed to pesticides during their first year of life, the risk they would develop autism went up to 50 percent.
ExxonMobil could be the second company after Monsanto to lose lobbying access to members of European Parliament after it failed to turn up to a hearing Thursday into whether or not the oil giant knowingly spread false information about climate change.
The call to ban the company was submitted by Green Member of European Parliament (MEP) Molly Scott Cato and should be decided in a vote in late April, The Guardian reported.
Bernie Sanders has become the first contender in the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary field to pledge to offset all of the greenhouse gas emissions released by campaign travel, The Huffington Post reported Thursday.