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LNG might need to go greener – U.S. Sec. Granholm suggests


Last week, during a visit to Houston, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm made clear that the Biden-Harris administration is looking forward to seeing cleaner liquefied natural gas (LNG) alternatives from the country’s gas producers.

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Accordingly, and as the JWN website states, “the days of promoting liquefied natural gas as ‘freedom gas’ or ‘molecules of freedom’ (may) have ended.”

LNG to go greener – A hint

During her first visit to another state outside Washington D.C., Sec. Granholm said the Biden administration would instead promote and sell a cleaner version of this plant fuel. Indeed, the statement marks a policy shift from the Trump administration; which in contrast, rolled back environmental regulations and heavily promoted the country’s LNG for export activities.

Worth noting, the energy industry has been under mounting pressure from investors and governments to step up efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As JWN reports, some spectacular victories were indeed achieved for activists over Big Oil this week; for instance, Shell needs to comply with a court ruling to pledge more within its environmental commitments by 2050.

Therefore, U.S. LNG makers are seeking to green their image, particularly if they aim to land on supply deals in Europe and Asia.

Efforts to go greener

For instance, Houston-based Cheniere Energy Inc., the largest U.S. LNG exporter, recently announced that it would be including carbon emission tags with its cargoes. Thus, allowing customers to audit the environmental footprint of a shipment.

In fact, one of the company’s LNG tankers recently participated in a study analyzing emissions on a roundtrip between Texas and Europe.

Similarly, Arlington, Virginia-based Venture Global LNG announced Thursday its plans to implement carbon capture and sequestration at three export terminals in Louisiana.

Finally, another example is Houston-based LNG developer NextDecade Corp. which has also pledged to add carbon capture and storage to its plant. Moreover, the company is still seeking to sell enough contracts to support its proposed Rio Grande LNG export terminal in South Texas.

The Biden-Harris Administration policy shift

Accordingly, the Biden-Harris administration is looking closely at carbon capture, and sequestration technology, said Granholm in her visit. Thus, this would take emissions from LNG plants and other facilities to then inject them underground.

“We want to be able to promote and sell clean technologies;” Granholm stressed following a tour she took at an Air Liquide SA hydrogen plant in La Porte, Texas. Indeed, “that could be natural gas that has been decarbonized; or that could be natural gas where the methane flaring has been eliminated.”

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