A few years ago, France held up a U.S. LNG import project over alleged concerns about methane emissions, as if the alternative of Russian gas was cleaner. France was trying to make a point about Trump methane rules, despite the fact that every molecule of natural gas at the wellpad controlled by the Obama methane rule was captured by the Trump rule. But of course that was not the narrative in the media. We also now know more about how Russia funds antifracking activism in Europe as a means of crowding out U.S. competition and asserting its energy hegemony over the continent. That decision’s aged particularly poorly since the invasion of Ukraine.
But even leaving aside the obvious absurdity of favoring Russian gas, here’s more solid data about how much cleaner American gas is. The World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Tracker, based on data from the Colorado School of Mine’s Payne Institute, shows a reduction in absolute flare volume and a 46% reduction in flaring intensity for the United States over the last decade. Not surprisingly, Russia has experienced an increase in both absolute volumes and intensity. Meanwhile the White House continues to hinder U.S. production while seeking more Venezuelan imports. The World Bank singles out Venezuela as “among the worst performers.”
There‘s also good information in a recent report from the CRES Forum, citing to a study from the National Energy Technology Lab, that shows Russian gas transported via pipeline to Europe has 41% higher greenhouse gas emissions than U.S. LNG to Europe, even considering the shipping emissions.
We appreciate that several senators highlighted the clean profile of U.S. natural gas in a recent hearing with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. Senator Barrasso displayed this chart and Senator Manchin voiced his displeasure about the Interior Department’s role in suppressing American production. Secretary Haaland couldn’t even admit that American oil and natural gas are more environmentally friendly than Venezuela’s.