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I was neutral about the planned LNG plant in Tacoma for a long time, but, like Gov. Jay Inslee, once I learned the real impacts of the project, I knew it was clearly bad for our climate.
The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency concluded the LNG plant would be 2% better than doing nothing over 100 years, but looking at the impacts of natural gas in our atmosphere 100 years into the future does not tell the whole story.
Here’s why: Natural gas is methane, a greenhouse gas 86 times more effective at trapping heat in our atmosphere than carbon dioxide during the first 20 years after it’s emitted.
So, 100 years after the LNG project would start, the impacts of natural gas extraction and fuel burning might be marginally better than the status quo. But in the first 20 years, it’s much worse, 30% worse. It’d be like adding 145,000 more cars on the road each year.
Scientists say if we don’t cut global climate emissions in half by 2030, we are headed towards catastrophe. Making changes to reduce climate emissions is going to be a heavy lift, and this project would make doing so even harder.
Melissa Malott, Tacoma
(Malott is executive director of Citizens for a Healthy Bay)