Community groups claim that the proposed Rio Grande LNG export facility at Port Isabel, Texas, would pollute the area’s community and ecology, harm the region’s shrimp farming and tourism sectors, and worsen climate change.
Yes, this is a poor neighborhood. According to Dina Nuez of Vecinos portal bienestar de la Comunidad Costera, “We’re not saying we don’t need jobs” (VBCC). But we don’t need work that compromises the environment and, ultimately, community health.
Local activists like Sierra Club Gulf Coast campaign representative Bekah Hinojosa dismiss the company’s assertions that it would trap the facility’s carbon pollution as little more than “trying to put a Band-Aid on a bullet hole.”
Only 6 to 7% of the facility’s total climate pollution, or as much as 163 million tonnes annually, would be addressed by the proposals to capture the facility’s carbon emissions (about as much as 44 coal plants, or more than 35 million cars).
Polly Hemming, a carbon market expert with the Australia Institute, claimed that CCS was always a greenwash for the extraction of oil and gas. Carbon credits for CCS in the production of oil and gas are additional greenwashing.
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Only 30 commercial CCS projects are now operational worldwide due to technical and financial challenges, many of which are utilized to increase oil extraction by reinjecting CO2 into wells. According to the industry-supported Global CCS Institute, these current facilities have a capacity of 43 million tonnes of CO2 per year, or 0.1% of total emissions worldwide.
However, interest in CCS has increased as pressure on oil and gas firms to lessen their climate effect has increased. According to the Global CCS Institute, the total annual CO2 capacity of commercial CCS projects that are in the planning phases increased by 44% in September over the same month last year to 244 million tonnes.
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According to a count by a non-profit climate news serviceDeSmog, at least 15 global LNG export or upstream gas projects that are now underway or in the planning stages have declared plans to incorporate CCS. Among these are five projects in Louisiana and Texas being proposed by NextDecade, G2 Net-Zero LNG, Venture Global, Sempra Energy, and French powerhouse TotalEnergies.