"It was February 2019, and Exxon Mobil Corp. was ready to make one of the largest-ever investments in a U.S. hub for overseas shipments of liquefied natural gas. The $10 billion project was going to be built on the Texas coast under an auspicious name: Golden Pass.
The federal government sent its highest-ranking energy official, then-Secretary Rick Perry, to celebrate the new terminal as a gift of “clean energy” to “our friends around the world.” Exxon Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods promised to showcase the “environmental benefits of natural gas.” There was no mention of the planet-warming emissions that would be released once Golden Pass starts operating, nor had forecasts of climate pollution been shared with Exxon’s investors.
But the emissions forecast is something Exxon knows.
Internal planning documents reviewed by Bloomberg Green dating from before the pandemic show forecasts for direct emissions at Golden Pass that would equal 3.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2025. That means the crown jewel of Exxon’s U.S. LNG export business would have about the same climate impact as a coal power plant, just based on the sheer amount of energy it takes to compress natural gas into a liquid for shipment. Transporting and burning the exported fuel would emit even more."
Kevin Crowley and Akshat Rathi report for Bloomberg Green December 23, 2020.