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Urgent: Tell DOE No LNG Exports! Comment by 4:30 pm Thursday

January 23, 2013

The Department of Energy (DOE) has permit requests for exporting Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) from 19 terminals that are currently permitted for import only. DOE consultants recently completed something called a “cumulative impacts study” which has such a narrow scope as to make the term “cumulative impacts” a joke. DOE has put the study out for public comment. The consultants who did the study focused on short-term positive economic benefits to the U.S. economy, the U.S. trade balance, the industry and the natural gas leaseholders, if the export permits were to be approved. They left out the economic cost of all cumulative damages to air, water, public health, farms, forests, communities and climate.

Take Action Now:

Deadline for comments is this Thursday at 4:30pm.  Use any of the means below and please forward.
  1. Our allies at Marcellus Protest have created excellent talking points: use their link to comment directly to the DOE.
  2. Use this CREDO link to send a message both to the DOE and, importantly, to President Obama.
  3. Delaware Riverkeeper Network has created a message you can send to the DOE here. DRN is also sending an organizational sign-on letter, supported by Protecting Our Waters, critiquing the outrageously narrow scope of DOE’s  “cumulative impacts” study.

Background: Basics on LNG Export

The Sierra Club is demanding investigation into the DOE LNG study’s ties to the natural gas industry, using the Freedom of Information Act.
LNG exports are a terrible idea for several reasons. Here are four, simply and broadly put:
  1.      LNG exports would raise the price of fracked gas, making it more profitable for fracking corporations to continue,  and escalate, shale gas drilling.  This induced fracking, and the compressor stations, pipelines and other infrastructure fracking requires, damages air, water, animal and human health, and our communities’ quality of life.
  2.      LNG exports would greatly increase the greenhouse gas footprint of shale gas, escalating climate change at a time when the latest science is showing a stunning 9% leakage rate for methane throughout the life cycle of shale gas extraction, processing and distribution. Considering that methane is 105 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2 in global warming impact in the 20-year time frame (sources: NASA scientist Drew Shindell; Cornell shale gas researchers  Bob Howarth and Anthony Ingraffea), we absolutely cannot afford this climate impact.
  3.      LNG exports would increase the danger of explosions: pipelines, transfer stations, and LNG tankers are vulnerable to explosions which could result in a large number of deaths, according to industry insiders.
  4.     Finally, least dramatically but very importantly, LNG exports, by making shale gas more profitable, would escalate fracking and push back hard against our investment as a society in both renewable energy and in reducing consumption and waste, further delaying urgently needed energy efficiency and conservation measures.
LNG exports are, in short, the worst possible idea for the environment, for impacted communities, for climate, for public health, for our long-range economic interests, and for our sustainable future.
  1. Rebecca DeWitt permalink
    January 24, 2013 8:41 am

    I am opposed to HVHF anyway, but the gas we’ve mined the US should be used for domestic purposes. Why sell it on the international market when we have so far to go before we’re close to relying on sustainable energy sources?
    I believe this is because the companies simply want to sell it for the highest dollar, when it’s our citizens who have to live with the pollution, potential earthquakes, and other disruptions in their lives?

  2. Eric Peters permalink
    January 24, 2013 10:56 am

    For an excellent commentary on LNG exports by Guy Alsentzer, director of operations for Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, a program of Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna, Inc., please click on the following link.

  3. Eric Peters permalink
    January 24, 2013 11:06 am

    For those who did not read the source DOE request please take note of the following section:

    “Comments must be limited to the results and conclusions of these independent analyses on the factors evaluated. These factors include the impact of LNG exports on: domestic energy consumption, production, and prices, and particularly the macroeconomic factors identified in the NERA analysis, including Gross Domestic Product (GDP), welfare analysis, consumption, U.S. economic sector analysis, and U.S. LNG export feasibility analysis, and any other factors included in the analyses. In addition, comments can be directed toward the feasibility of various scenarios used in both analyses. While this invitation to comment covers a broad range of issues, the Department may disregard comments that are not germane to the present inquiry.”

    It is my belief that We The People must not allow the DOE, EPA, DEP or anyone else to dictate the parameters of acceptable debate on this issue. We are the ones responsible for change and as such it is incumbent upon organizations like POW, residents of impacted communities and other concerned citizens and residents of the U.S. to frame the discussion and provide an alternative to the “official” narrative.

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