The role of natural gas in climate policy is a little tricky.
Burning natural gas for power creates far less carbon emissions than burning coal. But leaks of the potent greenhouse gas methane from gas wells and related infrastructure is a major concern for climate advocates.
The new report says methane leaks must be minimized, and it also notes other concerns, such as carbon emissions from the energy-intensive process of liquefying gas.
“LNG export terminals are multi-billion-dollar energy infrastructure investments. DOE should understand the climate impacts of LNG exports before these facilities are constructed in order to ensure that there is a net climate benefit from such exports,” the report states.
“We recommend that DOE conduct a thorough analysis of the climate change impacts of proposed LNG exports, including the effects on both domestic and overseas emissions,” it states.