Climate Week Aside, Huge Deal to Export LNG to India Moving Ahead

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Donald Trump on Sunday Photo: Michael Wyke, AP

Even while the world is trying to wean itself off fossil fuels and the major Democratic candidates promised to end fracking on federal land and to put a price on carbon, the Houston Business Journal reported that Houston-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) company Tellurian Inc. is entering into a multibillion-dollar deal to with an Indian company to sell them 5 million tons of LNG.  The deal was announced over the weekend during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Houston. Ironically, yesterday at the United Nations, Modi seemed to strike a more climate-friendly note saying, “Need, not greed, has been our guiding principle. Therefore, India is here today to present a practical approach and a roadmap. In India, we are going to increase by 2022 our renewable energy capacity to 175 gigawatts and we are committed to further increasing it to 450 gigawatts.”

Why This Matters:  Donald Trump’s fossil fuel Presidency is clearly pushing for the export of U.S. natural gas — he even appeared with Prime Minister Modi at a Trump-style “Howdy Modi” rally for Indian-Americans living in Houston — 50,000 showed up to see them walking hand in hand on Sunday. The LNG deal with India seems to be part of a concerted effort by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its U.S. Gas Infrastructure Exports Initiative. 

  • The Texas Tribune reported in a series entitled “Blowout” from late last year that “a coalition of 25 companies, nine trade groups, five law firms, at least five federal agencies and a nonprofit think tank whose stated goal is to drive sales of American natural gas by pumping dollars into pipelines and gas-processing facilities overseas.”
  • Deals like this one are driving the development of huge LNG export infrastructure such as the soon to be built Driftwood LNG facility – a 27.6 million ton/year liquefaction export facility near Lake Charles, Louisiana that includes the 96-mile Driftwood Pipeline, which will connect the LNG terminal to the U.S. natural gas market.

Even if India wants to move more to renewables, they will be a big fossil fuel purchaser for the foreseeable future.  It is better than India burning coal, but we doubt the true cost of this LNG is reflected in this deal.  

How’d It Play In India?

Here is the headline from the Times of India, “PM Modi talks up renewable energy after pledging to buy Texas fossil fuels.”  According to the Times of India, this natural gas “supply and demand” relationship between the U.S. and India is expected to last for 40 years or more.  Interestingly, President Trump turned up unexpectedly at the Climate Action Summit at the United Nations just as Modi made his remarks about renewables.  A new bromance for Trump?

With the India deal in hand, the Driftwood facility and pipeline are expected to begin construction next year.

Up Next

EV Battery Production in Georgia Charges Ahead Thanks To Settlement

Scaling production of EVs in the U.S. will require a ramp-up in domestic battery production. Now there’s good news on that front. A battery factory in Georgia can move forward after LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation (South Korean companies), two of the world’s biggest electric vehicle battery manufacturers, settled a dispute. 

Why This Matters: The dispute threatened U.S. production of EVs. SK has contracts to produce batteries for electric Ford F-150 pickup trucks and Volkswagen SUVs.

Continue Reading 495 words
Biden Administration Pushed for Electric School Buses

Biden Administration Pushed for Electric School Buses

by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Right now, 95% of American public school buses run on diesel fuel, but that could soon change thanks to part of the Biden administration’s massive infrastructure proposal. The new Clean Buses for Kids Program would electrify at least 20% of the country’s iconic yellow school bus fleet. It would […]

Continue Reading 452 words
Four States Sign Compact to Ban Fracking In Delaware River Basin

Four States Sign Compact to Ban Fracking In Delaware River Basin

by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer In February, the governors of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware voted unanimously to ban fracking in the Delaware River Basin, but Republican-led lawsuits are seeking to stop this action. The ban prevented the natural gas industry from blasting up to 4,000 wells in the basin, serving a blow to the […]

Continue Reading 615 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.