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July 14, 2017 | “Carbon Bomb”? Sorry, Activists: Natural Gas from Canada is Necessary to Fight Climate Change

Stewart Muir is founder and executive director of the Resource Works Society, a Vancouver-based group open to participation by British Columbians from all walks of life who are concerned about their future economic opportunities. He is an author, journalist and historian with experience on three continents including a financial editor of The Vancouver Sun responsible for mining and markets coverage. Since Resource Works was established in 2014, the group has gained international recognition for its practical approach to the public challenges of responsible natural resource development and use.

A vigorous effort to erode confidence in Canada’s LNG industry has it all wrong. In fact, natural gas is in hot demand worldwide in the crusade against climate change.

The decline of coal in U.S. electricity generation is why American greenhouse gas emissions have been trending down. Data from the Energy Information Administration make perfectly clear that natural gas replacing coal is the driving factor in this trend.

So why are Canadian activists defaming exports of high-quality Canadian natural gas on the basis that LNG is a climate pollutant? The answer to this is not clear, except that the assertion is completely incorrect.

The more Canadian natural gas that is shipped to markets in Asia, the more those jurisdictions will be able to achieve the climate gains Americans have been enjoying for years now. That is why blocking LNG exports is akin to speeding up global climate change – a foolish and reckless aim yet one pursued by a variety of organizations operating in Canada today.

climate-chart.jpg

To explore the data behind this trend, here are some links:

Competition between coal and natural gas

Primary energy consumption by source

Electric power monthly data

The following chart illustrates another point that is often misunderstood. While alternative renewable electricity sources are desirable and growing, they have nowhere near the growth rate nor scale of natural gas. So in the short term, it is easy to see why those who are seeking to take realistic steps toward improved climate performance are investing in natural gas and LNG.

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July 14th, 2017

Posted In: Resource Works

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