LNG Exports

U.S. LNG Industry's Business Model Doesn't Work

Read time: 8 mins
Fossil fuel tanker ship

In mid-July, Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette signed an order authorizing the export of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, from a proposed $10 billion terminal and gas pipeline project in Oregon. The news release accompanying Brouillette's order hailed the approval as having “profound economic, energy security, and environmental implications, both at home and abroad.”

Although the project, known as the Jordan Cove LNG terminal, has struggled to obtain state permits and faces vocal opposition from tribes and others, this consistent Trump administration refrain has not changed. The Obama administration made similar claims about natural gas production and energy security, jobs, and the environment, when it oversaw a rapid expansion of the LNG export industry

President Obama and President Trump were on the same page about LNG exports. They also share something else in common: They were both dead wrong. 

The North American Natural Gas Industry Is Struggling—Here's Why

Read time: 7 mins
LNG carrier

Last year, the financial prospects for the North American natural gas market were looking grim, as nervous investors started pulling back and producers announced big spending cuts and layoffs.

Today, the challenges facing the gas industry here have only worsened, even for LNG exports, its much-vaunted savior.

EU Plans to Measure True Climate Impacts of LNG Imports From US Fracked Gas

Read time: 5 mins
LNG tanker

With growing evidence that the climate impacts of natural gas are comparable to coal, the European Commission is planning to study ways to reduce methane emissions across the life cycle of natural gas production and consumption, with potential implications for fracked gas producers in the U.S.

LNG, Plastics and Other Gas Industry Plans Would Add Climate Pollution Equal to 50 New Coal Plants

Read time: 9 mins
Shell's plastics plant in Beaver County, PA under construction

This week, plans to build one of the world’s largest plastics and petrochemical plants in St. James Parish, Lousiana — the heart of the state’s notorious Cancer Alley — inched forward as Lousiana approved air quality permits that could allow the plant to release 13.6 million tons per year of greenhouse gases — equal to three coal-fired power plants — and a host of other pollutants.

The St. James plant would be the single most polluting facility of 157 planned new or expanding refineries, liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects, and petrochemical plants that have sought or obtained air pollution permits in the U.S., according to a report published today by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP).

The US Is Exporting a Fracked Climate Catastrophe

Read time: 6 mins
Roughnecks on a drilling rig

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  

According to climate scientists, limiting the worst impacts of climate change means weaning the world off of fossil fuels, not ramping it up. But two factors, the U.S. “fracking revolution” that helped boost domestic oil and gas production to record levels combined with lifting the 40-year-long ban on exporting crude oil in 2015, are complicating that vision.

Companies Blocked From Using West Coast Ports to Export Fossil Fuels Keep Seeking Workarounds

Read time: 6 mins
Proposed fossil fuel export site in Washington state

By Shawn Olson-Hazboun, Evergreen State College and Hilary Boudet, Oregon State University

A year after Washington state denied key permits for a coal-export terminal in the port city of Longview, the Army Corps of Engineers announced it would proceed with its review — essentially ignoring the state’s decision.

This dispute pits federal authorities against local and state governments. It’s also part of a larger and long-running battle over fossil fuel shipments to foreign countries that stretches up the entire American West Coast.

China Threatens 25% Tariffs on US LNG in Trump Trade War Escalation

Read time: 7 mins
Donald Trump

China threatened to slap U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports with a 25 percent tariff on August 3, escalating a trade war by threatening an industry closely allied with President Donald Trump and potentially benefitting a $55 billion Russian gas pipeline project.

The $60 billion in proposed retaliatory tariffs, which are also aimed at the metals, lumber, and agriculture industries, could have significant impacts for U.S. LNG export plans — and for the domestic shale gas industry, which has struggled to turn a profit and which has staked its hopes for years on hopes of selling gas from wells drilled and fracked in the U.S. to buyers abroad at higher prices.

Critics Challenge 'Fundamental Flaws' in Energy Department LNG Export Study Draft

Read time: 5 mins
LNG tanker

The Department of Energy (DOE) missed the mark in its newly published draft Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) study, ignoring economic costs associated with climate change and the growth of the renewable energy industry, dozens of national and grassroots environmental groups said in public comments filed with the DOE on Friday.

In June, the DOE published a draft study that predicted expanding LNG exports worldwide could double American natural gas prices by 2040 — but that would carry relatively limited costs to the overall economy.

Congressional Committee Members Pushing LNG Exports Bills Have Deep Financial, Revolving Door Ties

Read time: 8 mins
Revolving doors

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Energy and Commerce held a subcommittee hearing on two bills to expedite permitting for exports of natural gas. Domestic production of this fossil fuel has been booming in recent years, mainly thanks to hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) opening up vast reserves in shale formations.

Several former and present committee staffers have either taken oil and gas industry-sponsored trips as staffers or spun through the government-industry revolving door between Congress and the lobbying sector. And all of the politicians backing the two bills under consideration have taken tens of thousands of dollars in contributions from the oil and gas industry for their 2018 mid-term election campaigns.

United States On Path to Becoming Major Exporter of Natural Gas Despite Climate Impacts

Read time: 8 mins

The Sabine Pass LNG terminal owned by Cheniere Energy in southwest Louisiana offers a glimpse of the challenges facing the growing natural gas industry in the United States. 
 
The first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) was scheduled for export from Cheniere Energy’s new export terminal in Cameron Parish, in January, but the company reportedly delayed its plans by up to two months due to faulty wiring.
 
Following the announcement of the export delay, Cheniere Energy sought $2.6 billion to refinance its adjacent LNG import terminal in Cameron Parish which was impacted by extreme fluctuations in the price of oil and gas. The company built the import facility before the U.S. fracking boom took hold, and was therefore saddled with unnecessary import infrastructure in the new age of abundance of domestic gas availability and the prospect of U.S. exports.

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