Natural Gas Rush Drives a Global Rise in Fossil Fuel Emissions

Natural Gas Rush Drives a Global Rise in Fossil Fuel Emissions

SOURCE: Inside Climate News DATE: December 3, 2019 SNIP: A surge in natural gas has helped drive down coal burning across the United States and Europe, but it isn’t displacing other fossil fuels on a global scale. Instead, booming gas use is fueling the global growth in greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study by researchers at Stanford University and other institutions. In fact, natural gas use is growing so fast, its carbon dioxide emissions over the past six years actually eclipsed the decline in emissions from the falling use of coal, the researchers found. The findings of the study, published Tuesday, support those from other recent studies that found the world is continuing to rely on fossil fuels—including coal—to meet growing energy demand, even as renewable energy sees soaring growth. “Globally, most of the new natural gas being used isn’t displacing coal, it’s providing new energy. That’s the key interaction, and that’s true for renewables even,” said Rob Jackson, a professor of Earth system science at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and the report’s lead author. Supporters often refer to natural gas as a “bridge fuel” between higher-emitting fossil fuels and renewable energy, but some industry executives have instead begun calling it a “forever fuel”—one they see continuing to grow for decades to come. Globally, natural gas is the fastest growing fossil fuel. One of the biggest developments has been a rapidly expanding market for liquefied natural gas, or LNG, an energy-intensive product that allows energy companies to ship gas overseas. Australia has tripled its LNG exports since 2013, the report says, and is...
Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal

Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: July 2, 2019 SNIP: The booming liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry will play at least as big a role as new coal investments in bringing on a climate crisis if all planned projects go ahead, US-based energy analysts and campaigners say. The Global Energy Monitor, formerly known as CoalSwarm, is a US-based research and advocacy group that tracks fossil fuel development. It found there were US$1.3tn in planned LNG investments across the globe, including nearly $38bn in Australia, putting it fourth on a list behind the US, Canada and Russia. Ted Nace, the group’s executive director, said the proposed tripling of global LNG capacity risked introducing decades of emissions of methane, a potent and difficult-to-monitor greenhouse gas, at odds with the Paris climate agreement. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year estimated methane emissions would need to be reduced by 35% between 2010 and 2050 to meet the Paris goals. Natural gas is at times described as a transition fuel in the response to the climate crisis as it has about half the carbon dioxide emissions of black coal when burned to generate electricity. That argument has been rejected by the head of the International Energy Agency and science bodies warning the world needs to rapidly move to clean energy and industries. Nace said it was difficult to compare emissions from coal and gas given their different nature. Gas has lower CO2 emissions than black coal when burned for electricity, but LNG developments also leak methane, which is a relatively short-lived gas that lasts in the atmosphere about 12 years but still has a...
Next Round Of Jordan Cove LNG Public Hearings Planned For Southwest Oregon

Next Round Of Jordan Cove LNG Public Hearings Planned For Southwest Oregon

SOURCE: OPB DATE: June 21, 2019 SNIP: The latest round of public hearings for a highly controversial liquefied natural gas project starts Monday [June 24] in Oregon. Backers of the Jordan Cove LNG project plan to build a 230-mile pipeline across public and private land in four southwest Oregon counties. That pipeline would transport natural gas from sources in the U.S. Rockies and Canada to a new terminal at the Port of Coos Bay. There the gas would be liquefied and loaded on ships bound for buyers in Asia. If built, Jordan Cove would be the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in Oregon. Carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases released in the production, transport and burning of natural gas are a significant contributor to global climate change, which is causing weather extremes, longer wildfire seasons and sea level rise. The public hearings, planned for Coos Bay, Myrtle Creek, Medford and Klamath Falls, will take place over four days, each running for seven...
B.C. government announces new tax credit for LNG projects

B.C. government announces new tax credit for LNG projects

SOURCE: CBC News DATE: March 25, 2019 SNIP: The B.C. government is introducing new legislation that it says would attract more LNG projects to the province, in part by granting tax credits. Finance Minister Carole James said the proposed changes will bring thousands of jobs to B.C. “British Columbians are counting on us to attract LNG investment that meets strict conditions: delivering jobs and financial benefits to B.C., creating economic partnerships with Indigenous peoples and protecting our clean air, land and water,” James said in a news release. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver said the new legislation sends mixed messages about the government’s commitment to addressing climate change. “Continuing to push for LNG development is short-sighted and works directly against CleanBC objectives,” Weaver said in a statement. He described the decision as “a generational sellout” that will only serve to increase greenhouse gas emissions. Karen Ogen-Toews, who heads the First Nations LNG Alliance, believes that project could be a windfall for Northern B.C. communities. “There’s a definite opportunity. Once the pipe is in the ground, our community will be seeing legacy payments.” She says Northern B.C. towns have suffered wildfires, lost logging and mill jobs to pine beetles and watched mines close. She is applauding the tax breaks and tax credits which she says are needed to get B.C. gas to...
See Russia’s massive new gas plant on the Arctic coast

See Russia’s massive new gas plant on the Arctic coast

SOURCE: National Geographic DATE: March 22, 2019 SNIP: While most of the world is watching the rapidly melting Arctic with increasing alarm and placing the blame squarely on fossil fuels, Russia and its partners in France and China are seeing ruble signs. Billions of them, in fact, to be made selling Arctic fossil fuels to the rest of the world. Late last year, the Russian energy giant Novatek finished building the northernmost industrial facility on the globe: Yamal LNG, a $27-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant sitting at 71.2 degrees north at Sabetta, on the bank of the Ob River. The facility and its new port cling to the eastern shore of the gas-rich Yamal Peninsula, which sticks up like a frostbitten thumb into the Kara Sea—that is, in the middle of frozen nowhere. Some 15 ice-breaking LNG tankers are on order, along with a new rail line and two more LNG facilities across the Ob River estuary. The Russians expect all the plants to produce a combined 60 million tons of LNG each year by 2030. The prospect of relatively cheap gas along the shortcut between Asia and Europe drew a few investors anxious for a toehold in the Arctic, which the U.S. Geological Survey estimates may hold a fifth of the remaining oil and gas reserves on Earth. Total, the French oil major, owns a 20 percent stake of the Yamal LNG plant, as does CNPC, China’s national gas company. The Chinese government’s Silk Road Fund owns ten percent. The plant is just now beginning to operate at full capacity, but last year it shipped 7.5 million...