Thursday, October 3, 2013

Exporting LNG/Extolling Carbon Taxes

These two stories are connected as both are likely to increase the price of natural gas in North America.
Exporting should, I think properly, move North American prices up towards global commodity prices for natural gas.  I quote the Sierra Club's advocacy of cheap local supply of carbon (bizarre), as well as Dow's ignoble advocacy of protectionism for their supply so they can freely export their product.

Of course just taxing carbon is another way to move up price; one that's about as likely to be globally implemented as ...

U.S. Gears Up to Be a Prime Gas Exporter -
Cove Point, Maryland — Deep in a narrow underwater tunnel, workers wearing hard hats pedal bicycles towards a terminal, an island of gray pipes and pilings a mile off the Western Shore of Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay. When it originally opened in 1978, the chilly passageway was intended to bring liquefied natural gas from large tankers onshore to the Dominion Cove Point facility, where it was warmed, turned back into gas and sent on to customers.
But Cove Point has had a sporadic history and has not been visited by a tanker for delivery since 2011 thanks to reduced U.S. demand for natural gas. 
Now, Dominion Transmission wants to reverse the flow... 
“L.N.G. export is nothing but a giveaway to the dirty fossil-fuel industry at the expense of everyday Americans,” said Deb Nardone, director of a Sierra Club effort to halt the exports.
In the Pacific Northwest, resistance to L.N.G. exports is so strong that “there will be nothing built there,” said Mr. Welch of Energy Transfer. Most of the export facilities will be in Gulf states and at Cove Point, where final approval for its project is expected by early next year.
Some U.S. manufacturers have also joined the opposition to L.N.G. exports, saying they will eventually drive up domestic prices. The chief executive of Dow Chemical, Andrew Liveris, has argued that it is better to keep gas at home to use it as feedstock for producing chemicals and other refined products with a higher added value.
“We’re all for exporting natural gas,” Mr. Liveris said — for example, in the form of the plastic pellets that are used to make anything from toys to lawn furniture, a Dow specialty.  (read the entire article)
Carbon price vital for success of UN 2015 climate summit – de Boer:
Carbon needs to be priced at US$ 150 per tonne if governments are serious about avoiding dangerous levels of climate change, the UN’s former chief climate envoy has warned.
Yvo de Boer says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest assessment is a “wake-up call” that should underpin political efforts to cut global greenhouse gas emissions.
“If you put the climate agenda in a big pot and boil it for four days, what you’re left with is the need to put a price on carbon,” he told RTCC. “And the only way governments can justify pricing carbon is by looking at the broader cost to society of action and inaction.”
de Boer, who chaired the ill-fated Copenhagen summit in 2009, says national envoys need to work fast to outline what exactly they want to achieve, starting with the UN’s meeting in Warsaw that kicks off on November 11.
“It’s a bit like going out on a first date with a very attractive woman, but you don’t know whether at the end of the meeting will come a marriage contract, an agreement to live together or just an exchange of telephone numbers to meet again” (read the entire article)
I think de Boer has less of a chance of getting $150 per tonne as he'd have of procuring a marriage contract on the first date.

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