FACT CHECK: Study Claims Natural Gas Will Play Larger Role in Climate Change Than Coal

CLAIM: A new study claims that proposed liquified natural gas (LNG) will play “as large or larger role” as new coal investments in causing global warming. The Global Energy Monitor study said the impact would occur “if all planned projects go ahead.”




A 2014 study by the U.S. Department of Energy found the opposite. In fact, the study concluded: “This analysis has determined that the use of U.S. LNG exports for power production in European and Asian markets will not increase (greenhouse gas) emissions, on a life cycle perspective, when compared to regional coal extraction and consumption for power production.”

Additionally, a report commissioned by the Natural Gas Supply Association found “Over the past decade, there has been a significant reduction in the carbon intensity of the national electric supply, due in large part to an increase in gas-fired generation and a decrease in coal- fired generation. Similarly, despite the absence of a comprehensive national carbon policy or defined emission limits, emissions from the U.S. power sector have declined almost 20 percent since 2005, primarily driven by the shift to natural gas.”

The report concluded, “While natural gas produces some carbon emissions, these emissions are much lower than that released from even the newest and most advanced coal fired plant.”