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Climate Damages of U.S. LNG Exports

Our resource compiles the greenhouse gas emissions and resulting damages from liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals. If currently proposed terminals continue to be built, U.S. LNG exports will lead to over $50 billion in annual climate damages by 2025. We compiled greenhouse gas emissions data for 29 LNG export facilities and calculated the associated climate damages using the 2016 Interagency Working Group Social Cost of Carbon. We used data from FERC and EPA to assess the operational emissions of existing, under construction, approved, and proposed LNG infrastructure projects. For downstream emissions, we based our estimates on FERC’s projections of each project’s daily LNG capacity.

If all of these projects are completed and become functional, operations of the 29 analyzed LNG export facilities, which include compressor stations, LNG terminals, and associated marine and ground transport, will be responsible for emitting almost 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent per year. If all of the LNG that passes through these facilities is combusted, U.S. LNG export will lead to an additional 841 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent per year from downstream emissions. If the numerous projects that have already been submitting to FERC for pre-filing are approved and constructed, it could result in tens of billions of dollars in additional climate damages annually.