Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Coal-to-gas switch doesn't deter climate change as much as gas industry says, due to U.S. coal exports

The U.S. natural-gas industry says it is helping curb climate change by reducing the use of coal, but even as utilities have switched from coal, more U.S. coal is being shipped and burned overseas, which then contributes to climate change, according to a new University of Manchester study.

The International Energy Agency reported five months ago that the "shale revolution" had helped decrease U.S. carbon emissions by 450 million tons over the past five years, the largest drop among all countries it surveyed. But it did not account for increases in coal exports. There has been a "substantial increase" in coal exports to the United Kingdom, the rest of Europe and Asia, Pilita Clark of The Financial Times reports. According to the study, "More than half of the emissions avoided in the U.S. may have been exported as coal," Clark writes. (Read more)

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