A recent opinion from Mr. Dudas last week said, “I don’t care about the quality of air in China. I care about the quality of air right here.”
We can all agree that there continues to be great debate about global climate change — whether it exists or not and to what extent — and I’m not going to argue that here. However, this statement would imply that air quality in China (and elsewhere) does not impact our air quality here in the U.S., and that is not the case.
What happens abroad does impact us, so providing other countries with clean energy doesn't just benefit them, it directly benefits us by protecting our health from the extremely dangerous pollutants that result from the use of coal in other countries. Greenhouse gases are the hot topic to “report on” by those in opposition to natural gas, including the Jordan Cove LNG project, as was the case with the recent Oil Change International “report." The bias in the report is glaringly obvious, so I won’t go into that, but I will get into a report written by an expert who does not belong to any industry or anti-industry groups — a non-bias, credible study of the impacts Asian air pollution has on the western U.S. A summary of the scientific study was reported by USA Today in an article titled, “Air pollution in Asia is wafting into the USA, increasing smog in West”. The article also provides a link to the actual report.
One of the greatest health dangers from the under-regulated use of coal is the smog that comes as a result. A recent study in atmospheric chemistry and physics found that the efforts to reduce emissions of smog-forming pollutants in the U.S. are unfortunately being trumped by the air pollution being produced and coming from Asian countries. In fact, the air pollution from these Asian countries is actually the largest contributor to smog in the western U.S. Whether you believe natural gas is the solution or not, it is clear that we need to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of coal everywhere, not just in the U.S. Jordan Cove LNG would support this effort by transporting a cleaner energy for these countries, instead of coal, subsequently resulting in cleaner air for us in Southern Oregon.