Louisiana Offers Fossil Fuel Exporter Largest Local Tax Giveaway in History

Louisiana Offers Fossil Fuel Exporter Largest Local Tax Giveaway in History

SOURCE: Truthout DATE: January 2, 2019 SNIP: Louisiana plans to collect no industrial property tax from the $15.2 billion Driftwood liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal planned for its southwest corner, state officials announced in December. Critics say this tax break is worth $1.4 to $2.4 billion, making it one of the largest local corporate tax exemptions in American history — even larger than those offered to Amazon for its much sought-after second headquarters. Proposed by the natural gas firm Tellurian, the Driftwood terminal, which would liquefy and export 4 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day, is one of over a dozen gas export terminals proposed around the U.S. and fueled by a glut of shale gas released by fracking. The final investment decision for Driftwood is expected in early 2019, as are decisions on two other proposed Gulf Coast export terminals. By 2025, analysts say, the U.S. could become the world’s largest exporter of the fossil fuel LNG. Driftwood alone could nearly double American LNG exports, as the industry currently has the capacity to export 3.6 billion cubic feet a day, according to the Energy Information Administration. Tellurian plans to pipe shale gas from Texas’ Permian Basin and Louisiana’s Haynesville shale through not-yet-built pipelines to Calcasieu Parish in Louisiana. The Driftwood plant is expected to create 200 permanent jobs. That means the tab for the 10-year tax break would run as high as $10 million per permanent job, critics say. The Louisiana community that will forego Driftwood’s property tax revenues — which would normally fund schools, public safety, and other local government programs — is also...
Are we stuck with cement?

Are we stuck with cement?

SOURCE: The Outline DATE: June 28, 2018 SNIP: Not many want to fret over cement, the world’s second-most consumed material behind water, and how its use in this economic transition might prevent our society from achieving its climate goals. Because there are just so many opportunities, they say, for savvy investors and conservationists alike: renewable energy projects; new energy grids; updates to our nation’s battered piped water system (which leaks enough drinking water a day to serve 15 million households). Governments and environmentally minded investors luxuriate in these types of projects because they can help prevent human-caused, or anthropogenic, global warming without sacrificing economic growth. The problem is that many of these projects require concrete. A lot of concrete. This worries Law and her colleagues at the Carbon Disclosure Project, a non-profit that tracks industrial greenhouse-gas emissions and promotes proper carbon disclosure. The CDP recently released a report, “Building Pressure: Which cement companies will be left behind in the low-carbon transition,” warning the cement industry — cement being the main binder in concrete — that “in its current form, it will not be compatible with” any nation’s commitment in the Paris agreement; and if radical changes do not occur the world will “risk missing [its] climate goals.” Cement is perhaps the most essential ingredient in an economy’s growth. According to the CDP report, the cement industry is the second-largest industrial emitter of carbon after the steel industry. And when accounting for its use in human-made structures, it is responsible for more than a third of the world’s carbon emissions. But unlike the transportation sector, in which a new type...