Letter: US must not exploit crisis to rubber-stamp gas plans

Rana Foroohar is right to say “the short-term crisis must not derail the overall goal of shifting to clean energy” but some US advocates of reducing greenhouse gas emissions appear to be backsliding in the face of the crisis in Europe (“We need a grand bargain on energy”, Opinion, March 14).

A week before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc) decided to raise the bar for approving new gas pipeline projects by forcing their developers to account more thoroughly for their emissions and contribution to the climate crisis.

With Ferc chair Richard Glick now telling industry leaders that the US will essentially renege on this standard in order to get new projects shovel-ready, the danger is that Ferc goes back to the bad old days of being a rubber stamp for US gas projects, rejecting just two of 400 pipelines proposed between 1999 and 2017.

Export terminals fed by new pipelines will not be able to send gas for three to five years, at which point the geopolitical landscape may have shifted for US producers, while the country banks on carbon-intensive infrastructure for decades to come.

Such a bargain will surely derail any long-term shift to clean energy.

David Hoffman
Global Energy Monitor
Prague, Czech Republic

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