Fake report from the natural gas industry

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With a pair of fossil-fuel friendly senators at his side, former U.S. Energy Secretary on Tuesday released a favorable report on U.S. natural gas and liquified natural gas (LNG), funded by the natural gas industry.

The report, “The Future of Natural Gas in a Low-Carbon World,” was written by the EFI Foundation and released at the U.S. Capitol. The report examined the role of natural gas in advancing energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability in the United States, Europe and Asia.

The EFI report comes at a pivotal moment for the U.S natural gas and LNG export industry. The current Administration paused the approval of new LNG export capacity in January while the Energy Department considers the climate and financial impacts to U.S. gas consumers of additional LNG exports. The document seeks to broaden the discussion on U.S. LNG exports.

“The study, as you’ll be hearing, examines the role of natural gas in addressing what is sometimes referred to as the ‘energy trilemma’: energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability,” said the president of the EFI Foundation and chair of the advisory committee that oversaw the report. “Unfortunately, too often, the discussion around those three priorities tends to devolve into stovepipes, as opposed to recognizing that progress on all of them requires treating it as one conversation.”

One of the report’s specific recommendations was to include an “energy security determination” in evaluating future permits for additional U.S. LNG export capacity.

The report referred repeatedly to the “essential” role of natural gas.

The same day as the report’s release, Congress released a report of their own, the culmination of a three-year investigation, concluding the oil and gas industry has misled Americans for decades about climate change.

“The fossil fuel industry engaged in an elaborate campaign of deception and doublespeak … as well as disinformation about the climate safety of natural gas and its role as a bridge fuel to a fossil-free future,” the report concluded.

The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said the oil and gas industry seeks academic partnerships to legitimize its reports.

“Documents explicitly discuss leveraging ‘third party endorsements’ and partnerships with academic institutions to bolster Big Oil’s disinformation campaign,” in a written statement to Inside Climate News.

Referring explicitly to the new report on natural gas, critics said “this report is yet another example of the industry deceiving the public about the compatibility of continued—or even expanded—production of natural gas with the scientific emission reduction targets we must achieve in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and avoid the very worst effects of climate change.”

A spokeswoman for the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability added that industry’s disinformation campaign “continues to this day, including, as this recent report shows, their portrayal of natural gas as a green and climate friendly fuel even though they have failed to address methane emissions associated with natural gas. We know that Big Oil is intent on entrenching natural gas into both the U.S. and global energy economies for the foreseeable future by any means necessary.”

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