Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sierra Club Report Addresses Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Interstate Pipelines in Virginia

Recently, the Sierra Club published a technical report entitled “GHG Emissions Associated with Two Proposed Natural Gas Transmission Lines in Virginia” examining the impacts of interstate natural gas pipelines on greenhouse gas emissions in Virginia.

The authors discussed the rate of GHG emissions from four interstate natural gas crossing Virginia based on their daily production of natural gas: Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley, WB Xpress Project to expand the capacity of the Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline, and the Appalachian Connector. As for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines, the report contends that “the potential GHG emissions associated with these two proposed new pipelines could greatly increase emissions from this region for decades into the future.”

In addition, the authors issued some recommendations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asking them to “provide complete life-cycle estimates of methane and CO2 emissions from their projects for the EIS for their proposed pipeline projects.” Interestingly, they also urged FERC to “recognize that the emerging world commitment to cut GHG emissions, as evidenced by the recent UNFCCC COP21 agreement in Paris, will mean that the operating lives of new natural gas investments are likely to be substantially shorter than the traditional assumption that a pipeline will operate for thirty or more years.”

Information on the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines are respectively available here and here.

Writing by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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