LNG export through Georgia and Florida presented to PHMSA 2018-05-16

PHMSA doesn’t have a public map of the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline, but it does have a map of U.S. LNG Facilities, including many in Georgia and Florida. The source slides include many assertions about safety of LNG trucks and trains, but why should we take any risk for fossil fuel export profit to a few company executives and investors we solar power has no risk of leaks or explosions?

[Detail: U.S. Southeast LNG Facilities]
Detail: U.S. Southeast LNG Facilities

I’ve pulled out this detail of the U.S. Southeast, in which you can clearly see Pivotal LNG’s Alabama, Tennessee, and three Georgia plants marked with green circles as “Peakshavers with Liquefaction”, as well as Elba Island LNG at Savannah marked with a big red box. In Florida, Eagle (Maxville?) LNG at Jacksonville and Hialeah LNG at Miami are marked with stars as “Emerging LNG facilities”.

Here’s the bigger map:

[U.S. LNG Facilities]
U.S. LNG Facilities
Source: Risk Assessment of Surface Transport of Liquid Natural Gas, presented to PHMSA Office of Hazardous Materials Safety Research and Development Forum May 16, 2018, presented by Cambridge Systematics, Inc., David O. Willauer.

And look on slide 9:

[New Fortress Energy LNG Liquefaction Plant, Hialeah, FL]
New Fortress Energy LNG Liquefaction Plant, Hialeah, FL

That’s right, the only LNG export operation in Florida actually exporting, New Fortress Energy’s Hialeah LNG, exporting through Port of Miami and maybe other ports, is featured first. (Exports by Crowley Maritime from Jacksonville, including of gas trucked down I-75 and I-10 through Georgia and Florida, apparently thus far only go to Puerto Rico; see LNG Monthly (YTD – through October 2018, U.S. DoE Office of Fossil Energy.)

Speaking of truck routes:

[U.S. LNG Interstate Movements]
U.S. LNG Interstate Movements

Here’s detail of the U.S. Southeast:

[Detail: U.S. Southeast LNG Movements]
Detail: U.S. Southeast LNG Movements

Trucking down I-75 to Florida from Pivotal LNG’s operations is shown, but in Florida apparently Cambridge Systematics missed the turn onto I-10 to Jacksonville, instead going on down I-75 to Crystal River. Maybe they were confused by Strom LNG’s authorized (but not yet built) LNG plant there, which actually proposes to export through Port of Tampa.

What’s missing from this assertion on slide 23:

  • Natural gas is capturing a larger share of the energy market

Solar and wind power are growing far faster than natural gas, with solar doubling deployed capacity every two years, and wind not much slower. With batteries also coming along much sooner and cheaper than expected, fracked methane is a dead end. That’s why Ron Binz never got to be chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC): he said that out loud back in 2013.

Nonetheless, “solar will overtake everything,”, as former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff said also in 2013. The prediction he made (and I made just before him) that solar power will provide more U.S. electricity than any other source by 2023 is still on track, according to FERC’s own figures. Yes, despite the recent back-peddling of the U.S. government.

FERC 2012 power source gigawatts and growth rates projected 20 years

Slide 13 on LNG Economics honestly lists first among Supply-Side Factors, Production amounts. That’s the glut of gas from fracking that is really driving this LNG export craze. It also lists Storage Levels, which is also a glut of gas.

[LNG Economics]
LNG Economics

Third that slide lists Import-Export Volumes. Well, that requires countries to export to. Which isn’t really happening even with the U.S. pushing for it. Merkel’s Natural Gas Bridge Looks Like a Dead End to Executives: Investment in gas plants dries up as Merkel’s support fades; Gas-fired plants generate about 10 percent of nation’s power, by Brian Parkin, Anna Shiryaevskaya, and William Wilkes, Bloomberg, July 19, 2018.

“I can’t imagine a rational investor who would invest in large-scale gas capacity” without government assurances, said Uniper SE Chief Executive Officer Klaus Schaefer in Berlin this week….

Power companies need to come up with new ways to ensure electricity as coal plants retire and more consumers adopt energy storage to balance against volatile wind and solar generation….

As Merkel’s new coalition has pledged a speedier switch to wind and solar, pushing the share of clean power to 65 percent of total generation by 2030, some utilities have been left wondering whether gas will be needed at all….

“Our view is we should carefully review whether it makes sense at all to phase out coal very fast, replace it by gas and then you have stranded gas investments after 10 years,” RWE Chief Financial Officer Markus Krebber said in an interview with Bloomberg News in June. “The future should be renewables and storage. We’re also preparing for that.”

Germany isn’t even listed on slide 10:

[LNG Exports and Imports (millions of tons per annum) 2017]
LNG Exports and Imports (millions of tons per annum) 2017

But investors in other countries aren’t stupid, either. They can see the bigger picture of economics, which plainly shows solar, wind, and storage have already won. Nobody wants to invest in fracked methane stranded assets.

Plus look at the “Top 5 Countries Exporting LNG” on that slide. Why should the U.S. turn itself into a developing country, exporting raw materials?

Have you ever heard of solar panels leaking or exploding?

Why should we take any risk for the dying industry of natural gas?

Slide 21 claims “Alaska and Florida LNG Training completed”.

[LNG Emergency Response]
LNG Emergency Response

If that’s so, why does not Florida county Fire Rescue department seem to know about it? And what about Georgia? Meanwhile, there’s no need for solar panel emergency response training.

Especially why should we risk fracked methane profit through LNG export to other countries, for the profit of fossil fuel company executives and shareholders at our expense?

Thomas Alva Edison As Thomas Edison said 82 years ago:

We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. … I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.

We don’t have to wait until then.

Real energy independence is solar power onshore, wind power offshore, with batteries and a smart grid. Let’s get on with it.

Even FERC’s rubberstamp is better than the time-constrained rubberstamp of the U.S. DoE Office of Fossil Fuels, which is where most of the LNG export operations in Georgia and Florida got their authorizations. You can help fund the WWALS lawsuit to stop FERC shirking its inland LNG export oversight duties.