What I don’t know about natural gas?

Natural Gas is proposed to feed industry in Tacoma Washington

Therefore, It’s time I start learning, it’s an education thing for older people, about natural gas (methane gas) and its good- and not-so-good-benefits.

My research, I discovered there exists sweet- and sour-natural gas

So, which type of natural gas is intended to supply the Tacoma Washington LNG and Methanol processing plants? I don’t know.

See, John Sherman, Sour Gas Like Sour Grapes Isn’t Great (Jan. 28, 2016) (pdf document) (available online http://bit.ly/1JJElGt ).

Note: This linked document is under revision as I discover new stuff about natural gas supply and use and hazards; as a result, I will revised document content.


Published: Jan. 28, 2016 :: 1540 PST (Rev. Jan. 29, 2016 :: 0640 PST)



Focus again: Tacoma PSE Proposed Tideflats LNG Facility

We must remember the LNG projects is still proceeding

Let’s remind ourselves that the Tacoma PSE proposed Tideflats (Port of Tacoma) LNG Facility is still proceeding; for example, see:

Let’s really see just what went into the “final” SEPA EIS document for Tacoma Community (people) and environmental understanding about the Tacoma LNG Facility? We must look at the final analysis presented within the Tacoma EIS document.

While, our attention has been directed towards the current SEPA EIS for methane-to-methanol plant; thus, I don’t remember that my Tacoma Community people have been informed yet about the LNG plant operating in Tacoma and its current status? Especially relevant, Haven’t seen any LNG article published in local Tacoma newspaper or Tacoma City Government making the Community public announcement: this LNG plant is completely environmentally safe for the Tacoma Community as a new LNG industry plant? Maybe, I just missed the good news about this LNG plant?


Revised Jan. 27, 2016::1220 PST

The surround, methane-to-methanol process

What are some other hazard situations

Remember that, as our Tacoma City community (people) are focused on the environmental review stuff, looking directly at proposed planned methane-to-methanol industrial plant and its operation; in addition, we must keep all other Port of Tacoma current or future area industrial hazards defined and presented for community people to review as relative hazards consideration.

For example, See, Sherman, John, Methane-to-Methanol Industrial Site Hazards Proximate Hazards Between All Other Industrial Processing or Storage Hazards Located Nearby, (WordPress J.E. Sherman) (Jan. 17, 2016) (pdf document t20160117a), online at https://johnesherman.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/t20160117a.pdf


Published Jan. 17, 2017 : 0910 PST

Tacoma we forget Bhopal

Bhopal, we disremember multinationals community interests

Patel, N. A.,  Gandhi’s Prophecy: Corporate Violence and A Mindful Law for Bhopal, (2015) online at http://works.bepress.com/nehal_patel/10/ (visited Jan. 14, 2016).

I agree, Tacoma natural gas industrial plant(s) are a fitting remembrance: what can go wrong when it goes wrong: absent community right-to-know and hazards present planning and stakeholders (citizens) overview involvement. All community right-to-know: corporation activities not sacrifice local community safety, lives, resources, and environment.

See generally, John Sherman, Probative: Tacoma Stakeholder Invisibility Transnational Industrial Presence, (Jan. 14, 2016} (pdf file:t20160114a) online at https://johnesherman.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/t20160114a.pdf (visited Jan. 14, 2016).


Natural gas, the burn

We don’t need more natural fuels burned, I think this

When I consider new natural gas (methane) processing facilities within my community Tacoma City, Port of Tacoma, I don’t think it’s a great ideal to allow more natural gas processes that can contribute additional chemicals to our current airborne chemicals inventory in Tacoma.

I still maintain the thinking: The Tacoma community right-to-know about all risks proposed to be operated within their Tacoma community, not find out the hazard analysis was never done and made into a published public and available document.

Natural gas released

Natural gas (mathane gas) is not a problem when held captive underground but when we extract, process, added to airborne inventory, or com busted (burn) it; as a result, new considerations by the community (people) must be evaluated.

CONCLUSION The climate implications associated with the production and use of natural gas differ from other fossil fuels (coal and oil). Natural gas combustion yields considerably lower emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants; however, when methane is released directly into the atmosphere without being burned through accidental leakage or intentional venting is about 21 times more powerful as a heat trapping greenhouse gas than CO2 when considered on a 100-year time scale. As a result, considerable effort is underway to accurately measure methane emission and leakage. Policy-makers should continue to engage all stakeholders in a fact-based discussion regarding the quantity and quality of available emissions data and what steps can be taken to improve these data and accurately reflect the carbon footprint of all segments of the natural gas industry. To that end, additional field testing should be performed to gather up-to-date, accurate data on methane emissions. Policy-makers have begun to create regulations that address methane releases, but a better understanding and more accurate measurement of the emissions from natural gas production and use could potentially identify additional cost-effective opportunities for emissions reductions along the entire natural gas value chain. [1, §3, at 24]

Vehicles and alternate fuels

Alternative fuel and fuel economy legislation

What rules (legislation) has been created for the alternate fuel(s) public use?

Summaries of selected sections of federal legislation related to alternative fuels and advanced transportation technologies: [3]

  • Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014;
  • American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012;
  • Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthoization, and Job
  • Creation Act of 2010;
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009;
  • Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008;
  • Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007;
  • Energy Policy Act in 2005;
  • Energy Policy Act of 1992;
  • Surface Transportation Acts;
  • Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990;
  • Alternative Motor Fuels Act of 1988; and
  • Clean Air Act of 1970.

Energy Policy Act of 1992 supports natural gas use as an alternate fuel; for example, “EPAct 1992 encourages the use of alternative fuels through both regulatory and voluntary activities and approaches the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) carries out. It requires federal, state, and alternative fuel provider fleets to acquire alternative fuel vehicles. EPAct 1992 also defines “alternative fuels” as: methanol, ethanol, and other alcohols; blends of 85% or more of alcohol with gasoline (E85); natural gas and liquid fuels domestically produced from natural gas; propane; . . .” [3] I am not sure we the public community had any input into these legislation rules content as created or community review of the facts that support these alternate fuel rules as we read them today?

Vehicle combustion airborne inventory

Just maybe, maybe the stuff from the tailpipe of our vehicles might not be as good as we have be lead by other for us to believe; since:

German journal Angewandte Chemie, chemists from Sandia and Lawrence Livermore National Labs in Livermore, CA, along with German and Chinese collaborators, summarize a series of recent studies examining what exactly is coming out a biofuel tailpipe. They found that while biofuel combustion produces many of the same chemicals released during fossil fuel burning, it also generates a complicated mixture of additional chemicals that are potentially harmful to humans and the environment. [4]

Our internal combustion vehicle engines create airborne chemical to add to existing air inventory of chimerical; for example, see

Sources of emissions: Industry sources: The use of acetaldehyde is widespread in industry, and it may be released into waste water or the air during production, use, transportation and storage. Sources of acetaldehyde include fuel combustion emissions from stationary internal combustion engines and power plants that burn fossil fuels, wood, or trash, oil and gas extraction, refineries, cement kilns, lumber and wood mills and paper mills. [5}]

Gas burned

Burning natural gas still creates CO2 and other chemicals that added to our community airborne chemical(s) inventory . I don’t think we should add additional burning byproducts to the air—“The emissions from natural gas-fired boilers and furnaces include nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), trace amounts of sulfur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter (PM)”[2, §1.4.3 Emissions]

See, Table 1.4-2. Emission factors for criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases from natural gas combustion, [2] (emission factors).

Natural gas is one of the major combustion fuels used throughout the country. It is mainly used to generate industrial and utility electric power, produce industrial process steam and heat, and heat residential and commercial space. Natural gas consists of a high percentage of methane (generally above 85 percent) and varying amounts of ethane, propane, butane, and inerts (typically nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and helium). The average gross heating value of natural gas is approximately 1,020 British thermal units per standard cubic foot (Btu/scf), usually varying from 950 to 1,050 Btu/scf. [2, §1.4.1 General]


[1] Technology: Leveraging Natural Gas to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions) (leveraging-natural-gas-reduce-ghg-emissions.pdf) (Jun. 2013), online at http://www.c2es.org/publications/leveraging-natural-gas-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions (visited Jan. 10, 2016).

[2] U.S. EPA, Natural Gas Combustion, (ed. 1998) (org. MS Word C01S04.docx) (pdf created may 14, 2014), online at http://www3.epa.gov/ttnchie1/ap42/ch01/final/c01s04.pdf (visited Jan. 10, 2016).

[3] U.S. Department of Energy, Alternative Fuels Data Center: Key Federal Legislation, (The AFDC is a resource of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program) (ed. Jun. , 2014) (federal legislation related to alternative fuels and vehicles, air quality, fuel efficiency, and other transportation topics), online at http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/key_legislation (visited Jan. 10, 2016).

[4] Guest Writer, New Questions about Toxic By-Products of Biofuel Combustion, (InsideClimate News) (Jun 9, 2010) (Study finds spectrum of possible chemicals emerging from biofuel burning process, including formaldehyde.) online at http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20100609/new-questions-about-toxic-products-biofuel-combustion see also, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.200905335/abstract (visited Jan. 10, 2016).

[5] Australia Government, National Pollutant Inventory: Acetaldehyde, (National Pollutant Inventory: Department of the Environment: GPO Box 787 Canberra ACT 2601 Australia 1800 803 772 ABN) (n.d.), online at http://www.npi.gov.au/resource/acetaldehyde (visited Jan.10, 2016).


Air quality and natural gas

What happens to Tacoma City Air Emissions Inventory

An air emissions inventory is an accounting of the amount of air pollution emitted by various sources. Every year, Ecology and the local clean air agencies inventory facilities with air operating permits. This is called a point source inventory. Every three years, Ecology inventories many additional sources such as motor vehicles, wood stoves, outdoor burning, agriculture, and natural sources. Several inventory summaries are available below. (see, http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/EmissionInventory/AirEmissionInventory.htm)

New sources could be natural gas processing, conversion, or burning activities done at the worlds biggest planned conversion plant. Therefore there must be some air emissions inventory added caused by these natural gas industrial or commercial processes.

Still waiting Tacoma City hazard analysis documents

Not available for public community viewing yet are all the community right-to-know documents related to potential hazards caused from planned natural gas Port of Tacoma plant(s) operations—community and workplace and air inventory chemicals increased.

See generally, J.Sherman, Natural gas process considering community and workplace, (pdf document) (Jan. 8, 2016)


Natural gas, financial incentive

Natural gas cost forecast

Prohibiting or restricting LNG trade not only is contrary to international norms agreed in the WTO but also destroys value in the United States by creating artificially low prices for domestic consumption of natural gas.(1, at 4)

I think that this is funny logic; for example, “[C]reating artificially low prices for domestic consumption of natural gas.” is great for United States natural gas consumers! Low energy price, low wages, go together well.

I need to support natural gas, just why?

Those who sell gas might just have an economic incentive to export.

US natural gas producers are eager to take advantage of tremendous price differentials between the United States and foreign markets. US prices are around $3 per million metric British thermal units (mmBtu), while prices in Europe are $11 to $13 per mmBtu and as high as $18 per mmBtu in Southeast Asia. Even considering the cost of liquefaction and ocean transportation at $3.50 to $9.00 per mmBtu, producers can export LNG and earn a signifi cant profi t over domestic sales.(1, at 2)

Our U.S. energy price rise to what?

US natural gas producers are eager to take advantage of tremendous price differentials between the United States and foreign markets. (1, at 3)

If we set-aside the for profit motivation for export sales of natural gas resources, but what remains is the community—my community— right-to-know about the specific hazards and areas of hazards introduced into my Tacoma City, Port of Tacoma, Washington USA community?

We need an explanation why; for example, “[S]ome natural resources—particularly petroleum and hard minerals—are unevenly distributed across the globe. Geographic concentration of production can encourage the formation of cartels that seek to lift prices above competitive norms.”(1, at 4) is really bad for our local community energy (natural gas) ratepayer’s cost?

We in Tacoma Washington USA don’t need to race-to-the-bottom with our wages while energy prices are negotiated on a world commodity market.

I think this

No natural gas plants should be designed or constructed or operated within my Tacoma Washington community without first: A written and public published hazard analysis study related to each natural gas conversion process or natural gas distribution system located within my Tacoma City community and the public potential hazards (life and property) described and areas of hazards!

We should never permit a natural gas customer’s ratepayers’ price to become bench-marked price by a exported price received for U.S. natural gas resource. I consider this thought should apply to NG, CNG, LNG, and Natural gas to methanol.

Works cited

(1) Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Allie E. Bagnall, and Julia Muir, Policy Brief: Liquefied Natural Gas Exports: An Opportunity for America, (NUMBER PB13-6) (Feb. 2013) (Peterson Institute for International Economics), (“Gary Clyde Hufbauer is the Reginald Jones Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Allie E. Bagnall and Julia Muir are research analysts at the Peterson Institute.”) online at https://www.piie.com/publications/pb/pb13-6.pdf (visited Jan. 7, 2016).


Natural gas leaks are problems

What’s the problem with a natural gas leak?

Natural Gas (“NG”)(methane gas) contained within a piping distribution systems is good. Broken or leaking NG distribution system pipes; it follows, is not so good. Well, consider this, maybe nothing wrong if the NG leaked is a small amount, but what if the NG leak is large and continues for a long time? That might be bad for everybody—people, health, property, valuation of property, and the CO2 Earth’s protective atmosphere blanket.

Let’s consider what a current NG leaking concerns are today:

John Sherman, Natural Gas A Review, (Jan. 7, 2016), (online pdf document link).

What’s proposed for Port of Tacoma NG systems and support

Exit133.com has done a good job with limited information presenting what is proposed related to NG systems and Port of Tacoma. Also, the related fire department response locations described. 1

Does there exist safety valve requirements for NG systems?

I wonder, as I think, what does a large capacity NG distribution system include for automatic pipe shutoff valves in the event of earthquake (seismic) damage or soil liquification (soil that can’t support foundation weight applied anymore after ground become soup of liquid and earth) right here in Tacoma Washington, Port of Tacoma, Port lands?

So a large NG distribution pipe fails, what happens, and how quickly to stop the NG flowing into atmosphere?

Who is liable for NG related future harm?

Issue. If NG leak caused damage to community—people or property or person had to spend money for remedy—then who is responsible? Who pays who for what? Who (which people) are not paid for NG caused home evacuations, property damage, and other related out-of-pocket expenses incurred as result of NG causation harm?

My homeowners insurance covers?

I don’t know what my homeowners insurance indemnify me for accidents related to Tacoma City Port of Tacoma business operation; for example, like:

  • Natural gas related harm or expenses;
  • Methane gas related harm or damage or expenses;
  • Methanol plant hazards damage or expenses; 2 or
  • Liquid natural gas facility hazards damage or expenses?

Now the community indemnifying insurance coverage or exclusions subject should be another factor addressed within any published community right-to-know hazards report.

Works cited

(1) OKs New PSE LNG Facility, (Nov. 13, 2015) (Latest stories Exit133.com), online at http://www.exit133.com/articles/view/city-oks-new-pse-lng-facility#.Vo7EnxUrK00 (visited Jan 7, 2016).

(2) David Ferris, E&E reporter, NATURAL GAS: Enormous northwest refineries would feed china exclusively, (Nov.17, 2015) online at http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060028071 (visited Jan 7, 2016).


LNG Planning, Community not informed

The LNG planning just missing community people’s notice!

I think this: When a hazard is considered to introduction into Washington State by anybody; it follows, inform the people first—all affected and effected communities people with written notice—who is doing just what for benefit back to which specific people. It’s these hazards and risks to the community people (lives, property, safety) and all people have the right-to-know before a hazard is introduced into their community!

Just another example of no Community Right-to-Know Act public presentation.1

We have three risk issues related to our Tacoma community and risk disclosure missing are: (1) Natural Gas ("NG") distribution systems; 1 (2) Liquid Natural Gas ("LNG"); and (3) Natural Gas-to-Methanol ("NGM") production plant. 2 All these NG related industries considered for operation within our community should have a completed and community published hazards risk analysis study and these documents should be presented to Tacoma City community (people) before any public hearings are calendared!

What’s these three physical separations?

Now I understand we have three potential hazards considered to be constructed and operated within Tacoma Port of Tacoma; therefore, there must be some dependent and positional risks shared between these three NG, NGM, and LNG facilities? But I find no community risk analysis reports to say: No risk from- or-between these three gas related locations?

Works cited

(1) Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Oregon LNG and Washington Expansion Projects, (Draft: Environmental Impact Statement Environmental Impact Statement, vol. 1) (FERC/DEIS-0261D DOE Docket No. FE 12-48-LNG) (Aug. 2015) online at http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/08/f25/EIS-0492-DEIS-2015.pdf (visited Jan. 3, 2016).

(2) GAS TO METHANOL FACILITY AT THE PORT OF TACOMA, (NW Innovations Works)(2015 1102 NWIW FactSheet Tacoma.pdf) (2015), online at https://nwiw.blob.core.windows.net/media/Default/PortofTacoma/2015_1102_NWIW_FactSheet_Tacoma.pdf or http://bit.ly/1mYL19j (visited Jan. 3, 2016).


Useful LNG information

Where are LNG facilities located

i2016-01-02_7-57-48Where are LNG facilities located?

See,North American LNG Import/Export Terminals Existing, (Oct. 20, 2015), available at https://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/indus-act/lng/lng-existing.pdf

Status of LNG facilities everywhere

On-Stream under Construction Planned Proposed/under Study, (Global LNG Limited) (Nov. 2015), available at http://www.globallnginfo.com/world%20lng%20plants%20&%20terminals.pdf

The LNG planning just missing community people’s notice!

Stuff happens. The community is excluded from knowing about LNG stuff. See, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Oregon LNG and Washington Expansion Projects, (Draft: Environmental Impact Statement Environmental Impact Statement, vol. 1) (FERC/DEIS-0261D DOE Docket No. FE 12-48-LNG) (Aug. 2015) online at http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/08/f25/EIS-0492-DEIS-2015.pdf (visited Jan. 3, 2016).

Which operates first methanol or LNG plants because:

Just thinking, if a natural gas ("NG") to methanol ("NGM") conversion plant is consider for construction and operation should it be constructed within a hazard radius determined for catastrophic potential accident harm radius?

Here again, were just missing the community right-to-know risk analysis detailed reports for both LNG, NG, and NGM plant and piping system within Port of Tacoma Washingtion State.

Words written about LNG

Accidents and rules citations. See generally, Appendix C3 C3-1 Chronological List of LNG Accidents C3-2 Marine Safety and Security Requirements C3-3 Design and Safety Standards Applicable to Natural Gas Projects, (http://citizensagainstlng.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Cabrillo-Port-EIR-Appendix-C3_List-of-LNG-Accidents.pdf 2007) or http://bit.ly/1RWNY71

History. See also, Tim Riley, LNG danger to our communities | Fracking gas for LNG Exportation | safety risks of LNG Exportation & LNG importation | safety risks of LNG transportation | safety risks of LNG storage, (2004), http://www.timrileylaw.com/LNG.htm.

Study. See generally, What is the safety record of the LNG industry?, Center for Energy
Economics (Oct. 1979), http://www.beg.utexas.edu/energyecon/lng/LNG_introduction_10.php


It’s Safe, see. See, Edward Dodge, How dangerous is LNG? (Breaking Energy Dec. 22, 2014) (photo cite supra) online at http://breakingenergy.com/2014/12/22/how-dangerous-is-lng/

Looking back, let’s think about LNG. See generally, Chesapeake Climate Action Network et al., In Light of Washington LNG explosion, community demands answers to cove point export terminal concerns, Aggregated (EcoWatch Apr. 7, 2014), http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/07/after-lng-explosion-community-cove-point-export-concerns/

Understanding LNG

Philip Weems And Harry Sullivan, Lng overview lng overview: International Energy Law, Contracts, and Negotiations 2005, (n.d.) (what is lng? presented is: (1) not lpg or ngl (2) natural gas that has been cooled until it liquefies (-160°c) (3) volume is reduced 600 times (4) lighter than air when vaporized (5) not under pressure (6) colorless, odorless and non-toxic (7) stored cold (8) can be heated and vaporized again when needed), online at http://www.kslaw.com/library/pdf/2005shortcourse.pdf (last visited Jan. 3, 2016).

LNG insurance

See generally, POTENTIAL LIABILITIES FOR CASUALTIES IN LNG SHIPPING CASUALTIES IN LNG SHIPPING SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL GAS TANKER AND TERMINAL OPERATORS 46 Th Panel Meeting San Francisco, (Society Of International Gas Tanker And Terminal Operators), (Apr. 21, 2004), http://www.kslaw.com/library/pdf/weems_lng.pdf

See also, Washington LNG blast spotlights natural gas safety, (Apr. 7, 2014), online at http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2014/04/07/325643.htm (last visited Jan. 3, 2016) ("Stephen Maloney, a senior risk consultant at Moody’s Analytics with a background in LNG risk analysis, said the Washington incident could trigger a review of the risks posed by LNG facilities, including a fresh look at the probable frequency of accidents. Companies and regulators use risk models when considering permitting projects.").

Older review of LNG

Philip Weinberg, Cargo of Fire: A Call for Stricter Regulation of Liquefied Natural Gas Shipment and Storage, 4 Fordham Urban Law Journal 1975 (1975), online at http://bit.ly/1StHXxS

See also, Philip Weinberg, Cargo of Fire: A Call for Stricter Regulation of Liquefied Natural Gas Shipment and Storage, 4 Fordham Urban Law Journal 1975 (Vol. 4, Issue 3 (1975) Art. 2), online at http://bit.ly/1RjjydK (visited Jan. 3, 2016).

LNG Requirements

Requirements. See, U.S. Department of Transportation: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials: Safety Administration, LNG Plant Requirements: Frequently Asked Questions, (Pipeline technical resources) (Revised, Dec. 7, 2015), ("H5. Can an exclusion zone extend beyond the operator’s LNG plant property line? As long as the facility is in operation, the operator is responsible for assuring compliance with the limitations on land use within exclusion zones, according to the descriptions in NFPA 59A . . . . For example, an exclusion zone that extends past a property line into a navigable body of water or onto a public road is typically acceptable. This may not hold true if that body of water contains a dock or pier that is not controlled by the operator of the LNG plant, or if another entity could erect a building or members of the public could assemble within the exclusion zone. It is possible to assure compliance by legal agreement with a property owner affected by the exclusion zone, such that the land use is restricted for the life of the LNG plant.") available at http://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/lng/faqs.htm

Keep reading for LNG risk understanding

Absent LNG accident a hazard does not exist; but with accident; hence just how expansive is the actual damage to life and property? The average community (people, just like me) would like to see the risk analysis written study that follows the Community Right-to-Know Act disclosure community knowledge benefit.

My home in community shared with LNG

Since my home is within Pierce County Tacoma City neighborhood, if a LNG accident and my home or property is damaged who pays to fix all the damage and cost caused by any LNG, NG, LPG, NG-to-Methanol plant accident?

Thomas Zuo, Home insurance and explosions, (Home Insurance.org (n.d.)), online at http://www.homeinsurance.org/home-insurance-and-explosions/ (visited Jan. 3, 2016).