Sierra Club irked by U.S. LNG export stance

Protest comes as Exxon moves ahead with Alaskan LNG.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  July 22, 2014 at 10:17 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 22 (UPI) -- U.S. policies on the export of liquefied natural gas are out of step with renewable and climate protection goals, the Sierra Club said.

The Sierra Club announced it filed comments with the Department of Energy on the impacts of LNG. The advocacy group said LNG exports would lead to more domestic gas production, which may cause an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and inhibit the development of renewable energy projects.

Sierra Club attorney Nathan Matthews said Monday the analysis from the Department of Energy falls short.

"The increase in drilling and fracking [needed] to meet export demand will increase overall carbon pollution emissions, putting it at odds with the Administration's goal to reduce carbon pollution emissions 17 percent by 2020," he said in a statement.

His statement follows an announcement from Exxon Mobil that it filed an application to export LNG from Alaska with the Department of Energy. The application calls for the export of as much as 20 million tons of LNG for 30 years for countries that have a free-trade agreement with the United States.

Exxon said the project would create 15,000 jobs during the construction phase and as many as 1,000 jobs for the facilities operations.

The so-called Alaska LNG project includes liquefaction plants and an 800-mile pipeline. Exxon estimates it would be completed in 2016.

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