Safety Before LNG
Exposing the truth about the New Fortress Energy 'Shannon LNG' project
Negative Effects on the Shannon Estuary
Nevada LNG Explosion

Press Releases
For Immediate Release
Press Release November 29th 2022:

More Carbon Budget threats to Irish Farming following revelation that the Shannon LNG Emissions would equal the Methane Emissions from 1 Million Beef Cattle
With up to 10 times the emissions of pipeline gas, LNG would mean a higher proportion of the Carbon Budget Choice would be used for the fracked gas industry and that even more Irish cattle would have to be culled and food production reduced at a time of pending world food shortages to compensate.

  • Based on figures from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)), Methane Life Cycle Scientist Professor Robert Howarth of Cornell University calculated that the full lifecycle emissions for the 600 MW power plant proposed by Shannon LNG (to power the 8 data centres it plans for the site) would be the equivalent of the annual methane emissions of 450, 000 dairy cows or 999,000 beef cows. Given that there currently is a budget for emissions, why should farmers suffer the brunt of emissions cuts while the owners of Shannon LNG, a US-based company, New Fortress Energy, run by the US King of Subprime lending Wes Edens, makes millions of dollars and emits large amounts of toxic gases at their expense?
  • Locking our limited carbon budget into fracked gas powering Shannon LNG’s proposed development means even more of the national herd will have to be culled and food production in Ireland reduced at a time of pending world food shortages.
  • 450,000 dairy cows  represents 28% of the total number of dairy cows  (1,603,721) in the country - and is more than the total number of dairy cows in Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Clare combined.

  • 1 million beef cattle is more than the entire beef cow herd of 936,773  in Ireland.
  • The Fugitive Methane Emissions alone (as separate from the carbon dioxide emissions) from the proposed Shannon LNG project would equal the methane emissions from 237,000 dairy cows (14.7% of the national herd and greater than the total number of dairy cows in Kerry and Limerick combined) or 530,000 beef cattle (over 56% of the national beef cow herd).
  • As part of its medium-term decarbonisation targets in the Programme for Government, the government has committed to delivering an average 7% reduction in emissions each year to 2030.
  • However, Norwegian Research firm Rystad Energy found in November 2022 that the production and transport of LNG causes up to 10 times the carbon emissions of the pipeline gas from the UK network currently supplying gas to Ireland.
  • And Shannon LNG itself admitted in its 2021 planning application that the upstream emissions of LNG are 2.5 times greater than those of natural gas from the UK gas network currently supplying gas to Ireland.
  • In 2019, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate action were informed by scientists that importing US fracked gas to Tarbert would have a 44% higher carbon-equivalent footprint over a 20-year period than importing coal to Moneypoint power station in County Clare.
  • In effect, unnecessary higher carbon emissions from Shannon LNG's fracked gas imports would mean other sectors of the economy having to unacceptably reduce their production even further, such as the dairy and beef sector.
The reasons why fracked gas is so controversial
  • The Compendium:  The “Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking”, produced  by Concerned Health Professionals of New York and Physicians for Social Responsibility, is a collection of some 2,000 abstracts of and links to medical, scientific and investigative evidence that fracking-related activities harm public health, the environment, and the climate.
  • In May 2021, NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights published a research report finding that fracking is incompatible with states’ human rights law obligations to protect, respect and fulfil basic human rights including  the right to life​,health​, water​, food​, housing​, access to information​, public participation​, a safe, clean, and healthy environment, and  the rights of marginalised persons & communities. It noted that a significant body of scientific evidence now exists to demonstrate that fracking is dangerous to public health, water, air, climate stability, farming, property, and economic vitality in ways that cannot be mitigated through regulation.
  • Fracking pollutes and poisons water, land and people. North Kerry forms part of the Clare Gas Basin and was targeted for fracking in 2011. This stopped when Ireland banned fracking in 2017. It is unacceptable to now impose fracking damage on other rural communities abroad.
  • But we also fear that if fracked gas comes into Ireland, it would only be a matter of time before we see an attempt to start fracking here under the excuse that it would do less climate damage than importing US fracked gas. Cuadrilla has already used that same argument in the UK to lobby for fracking there. Cuadrilla CEO, Francis Egan, stated that “By replacing liquefied natural gas imports and continuing to decrease reliance on coal, with shale gas produced onshore, we will reduce the UK’s carbon footprint and provide a cost-effective source of energy for our homes, businesses and industry.”

Professor Rober Howrath of Cornell University confirmed those figures via email as follows:
On Tue, 16 Aug 2022, 19:01 Robert Warren Howarth, <> wrote:
Here are some numbers:

1) for a 200 MW electric generating facility, if it operates full time 24/7 (ie, 100% capacity), it produces 1.75 billion kwh of electricity in a year.  According to the US EIA, it takes 8.04 MJ of natural gas to produce 1 kwh of electricity.  So the plant would burn 14.1 billion MJ of natural gas. CO2 emissions are 50 g CO2/MJ, so the plant is releasing 700 billion g of CO2 per year at the site of combustion. If the gas is LNG coming from the US, then there are additional CO2 emissions from liquifying and transporting the gas, which are probably in the range of 20% of the emissions on site, or 140 billion g CO2 per year.  So total CO2 emissions are 840 billion g of CO2 per year.  Then of course there are the methane emissions;  for the US, a good estimate is that 3.5% of methane in the gas consumed is emitted unburned to the atmosphere.....  it is probably worse than this for LNG, since methane is allowed to evaporate ("boil off") from the tanker to keep the rest of the LNG in liquid form.  Industry claims they capture all of this, but that is unlikely to be true.  Still, we have no data, so let's give them the benefit of the doubt, ignore the boil off, and look only at the 3.5% emission rate.  For the amount of gas burned to emit 840 billion g of CO2 per year, and using a 20 year GWP of 86 from the IPCC (2013), then methane emissions are 950 billion g CO2-equivalents per year.  Total emissions from the 200 MW plant are 1.79 trillion g CO2-equivalents/year.

2) for a 600 MW facility, emissions would be exactly 3X more.

3) for dairy cows in Western Europe, methane emissions are 142 kg of methane per cow per year, according to the IPCC (2006). Using the 20 yr GWP of 84 from the IPCC (2013), that is 12 million g of CO2-equivalents per cow per year (note the GWP is slightly less for methane from cows than for methane from natural gas).  Dividing 1.79 trillion by 12 million, it would take 150,000 cows to equal the emissions from the 200 MW plant.

4) for cows and cattle raised for meat rather than dairy, methane emissions are 64 kg per cow per year.  Using the same logic as in #3, it would take 333,000 animals to equal the emissions from the electric plant.

I hope this helps,

Bob Howarth
Robert W. Howarth, Ph.D.
The David R. Atkinson Professor of
     Ecology & Environmental Biology
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY  USA
Co-Editor in Chief, OLAR, the journal of
     Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Research
Faculty Fellow, Cornell Atkinson Center

Following on from Professor Howarth’s calculations, we calculate that the Methane Emissions alone from the 600 MW Shannon LNG project would be equivalent to the following methane emissions from animals:

Number of Dairy cows: 950 billion divided by 12 million  =  79,166 * 3  = 237,500.

Number of Beef Cattle: 950 billion divided  by (64,000 * 84)  = 176,711 * 3 = 530,133.

John McElligott
Safety Before LNG