Buffet decision shows LNG projects on shaky political, economic ground: report

Buffet decision shows LNG projects on shaky political, economic ground: report
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OTTAWA — A new report is holding up legendary investor Warren Buffett’s decision to walk away from a proposed liquefied natural gas project in Quebec as one sign that the LNG sector in Canada and elsewhere is on shaky ground.

The Global Energy Monitor report says Buffett’s move underscores the growing political and economic uncertainty that LNG projects are facing even as governments around the world tout liquefied natural gas as a clean alternative to coal power.

Canada has been one of the strongest players in efforts to expand the use of liquefied natural gas, with numerous multibillion-dollar projects to facilitate its export to Asia and elsewhere.

But Buffett withdrew investment firm Berkshire Hathaway’s planned $4-billion investment in a liquefied natural gas export terminal in Saguenay, Que., in March following nationwide rail blockades and protests against the Coastal GasLink pipeline in B.C.

Global Energy Monitor argues that not only is LNG in some instances worse for the environment than coal — and facing growing political opposition as a result — but the economic viability of such projects is also in doubt.

The international non-governmental organization, which catalogues fossil-fuel infrastructure around the world, specifically points to an oversupply of liquefied natural gas and decreased demand due to COVID-19 as a threat to planned investments, many of which are currently on hold.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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