At Davos, Rick Perry makes bizarre claim about U.S. fossil fuel exports
Exporting climate-destroying fuels is not “exporting freedom.”
Joe Romm January 25, 2018
“The United States is not just exporting energy, we’re exporting freedom,” Perry said during a Fox Business interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
If the U.S. were to promote zero-carbon fuels, like solar and wind power, however, that would free countries from dependence on anyone’s dirty hydrocarbons.
Indeed, the whole point of the landmark December 2015 Paris climate agreementis that more than 190 of the world’s leading countries unanimously agreed with the overwhelming science that says the only way to avoid catastrophic climate change is to leave most of the world’s fossil fuels in the ground.
“There’s no strings attached when you buy American LNG [liquefied natural gas],” Perry told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. “So that’s world-changing.”
Well, American LNG is world-changing — or, rather, climate changing — but not in a good way.
Back in 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy released an analysis of total greenhouse gas emissions from LNG. One of the country’s top methane experts told me at the time, “a close reading of the DOE report in the context of the recent literature indicates that exporting natural gas from the U.S. as LNG is a very poor idea” from a climate perspective.
More recent research paints an equally grim picture. A study in the journal Energylast month on the overall emissions impact of “U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports,” concluded that “emissions are not likely to decrease and may increase significantly due to greater global energy consumption, higher emissions in the U.S., and methane leakage.”
Remember, natural gas is mostly methane, and some 86 times better at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. And earlier this month, a NASA analysis found that the jump in fossil-fuel methane emissions in the past decade “is substantially larger than in previous literature.”
And if fracked gas domestically is part of the climate problem, then liquefying that gas and shipping it to other countries is an even bigger problem.
When you add in our exports of coal and oil, then America is one of the biggest exporters of carbon pollution in the world. And that is not exporting freedom.