Column: Exporting US Natural Gas Is as Clean as You ThinkSource: Breaking Energy | 16 June 2014
Having read the US National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) report “Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Perspective on Exporting Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from the United States,” published on 29 May2014, we are puzzled by the skewed conclusions reached by the Washington Post:
“That U.S. exports of LNG to China could end up being worse from a greenhouse gas perspective than if China simply built a new power plant and burned its own coal supplies.” And that “the benefits of cleaner, more efficient combustion of natural gas are largely offset by methane leakage in US production and pipelines and by methane leaks and energy used in the process of liquefying and transporting the LNG.”
A correct reading of the report reaches a completely different conclusion. After accounting for all the methane leakage factors mentioned by the Post, the NETL study clearly demonstrates that life cycle GHG emissions from LNG exports from the US are significantly less than emissions from coal generated electricity in China and in Europe.