Environmental concerns grow over impact of liquefied natural gas as U.S. is world's top supplier

  1. The United States has become the world’s leading exporter of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), as its output has tripled over the past six years. This growth has raised concerns among environmentalists, who argue it is counterproductive to the Biden Administration’s goals of reducing reliance on fossil fuels to combat climate change. LNG is natural gas that is cooled into a liquid for shipping overseas, despite producing carbon dioxide and methane emissions that contribute to global warming.

  2. John Allaire, a former oil industry engineer, resides near the Calcasieu Pass LNG export terminal in Louisiana. Allaire is concerned about the plant’s "flaring" (burning off excess gas) for potential health risks and the exporting of America’s natural resources to Europe and Asia. He feels differently about this practice if it were for domestic use. The Calcasieu Pass plant is owned by Venture Global, which has reduced flaring significantly and maintains that the world requires more energy, particularly natural gas. There are currently eight operating LNG export terminals in the U.S., with seven more under construction. U.S. capacity has more than tripled since 2018 and is expected to double again by 2030, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

  3. Critics refer to the new LNG plants as "carbon bombs," and the Biden Administration’s White House temporarily halted approving new LNG exports to consider its impacts on the environment, domestic natural gas prices, and America’s energy security. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granhom expressed concern about the continuous approvals and whether they are beneficial. Meanwhile, Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill is among 16 state attorneys general suing the Biden Administration over the pause, alleging that it has no legal basis and is merely an attempt to win climate voters. Murrill is also unfazed by potential climate impacts since it is not her primary concern as an attorney general.

  4. Allaire is also battling the development of another LNG plant near his property, urging companies to prioritize the conservation of natural resources for future generations over financial gains. Ben Tracy of CBS News serves as the senior national and environmental correspondent, reporting on a variety of topics for CBS News platforms, including the "CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell," "CBS Mornings," and "CBS Sunday Morning."

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