What is liquefied natural gas (LNG)?
Liquefied natural gas is natural gas that has been converted to liquid form for ease of storage or transport. To convert it to a liquid form, it must be cooled to minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Natural gas is converted to a liquid in order to transport it more easily in places where there are no pipelines. Liquefied natural gas takes up less space. So, it makes it much easier to export.
Why am I hearing about this now?
The natural gas industry is pressuring local governments to build new infrastructure that will allow them to ship natural gas overseas.
For the past 40 years, there has been a de-facto ban on LNG in New York State. Before the ban can be lifted, the state assembly requires rules for siting and operating them. Recently the Department of Environmental Conservation has proposed rules to permit “safe siting, construction, and operation” of LNG facilities and transportation in the state.
Why should I oppose LNG?
We should oppose LNG facilities and transportation for several reasons.
- It will increase the demand for fracked natural gas.
- To super-cool it to a liquid form requires a great amount of carbon-intensive energy, doing more damage to the climate.
- It is hazardous and accidents can happen. An explosion in 1973 killed 40 workers on Staten Island.
- Routine venting allows methane gas into the atmosphere, which is a problem because over a one-hundred-year time span, the global warming potential of methane is about 34 times that of carbon dioxide.
- It is a distraction from investing in renewables and conservation.
How can I oppose LNG?
The DEC is accepting comments from the public until December 4, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.
October 28, 2013
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Subject: Proposed 6 NYCRR Part 570 – Regulation of Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities
Dear Gov. Cuomo:
New York Interfaith Power & Light is a non-profit organization representing 98 congregations of all faiths across the state of New York. We regularly communicate with more than two thousand people via email. We are a part of the national Interfaith Power and Light campaign with chapters in 40 states. This movement addresses climate change from a faith perspective.
In commenting on the proposed regulations for LNG facilities, we will not comment on the many serious inadequacies of the rules from a standpoint of health and safety, for we know that respondents with more expertise will have already done so. As an organization concerned with climate change, we will comment on the rules only as they relate to the risk of climate disruption. The operation of LNG facilities of any size and the use of the fuel that they store will contribute to climate change through the release of greenhouse gases.
This process of rule making has been delayed for many years since the enabling legislation was passed in 1976. We do not see a pressing need to go forward at this time, just as the human contribution to climate change has been affirmed at a 95% confidence level by the world’s climate scientists.
The Board of Directors of New York Interstate Power and Light urges you to withdraw these proposed regulations, which are inadequate to the ethical challenge we face by promoting the use of fossil fuels. There are no “clean” fossil fuels other than those left in the ground.
Our state has shown climate leadership in many matters, including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the promotion of renewable energy and energy conservation by NYSERDA. Let us continue to do so.
On behalf of NYIPL,
Janna Stieg Watkins