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Liquefied natural gas is the fuel of the future, Cheniere Energy CEO Jack Fusco said, and energy CEOs need to change the climate debate around the production of their fuels.

Speaking at a global economy event at Houston on Thursday, Fusco said that LNG is a cleaner alternative to coal, and the energy industry needs to shift the debate around environmental and health concerns related to LNG.

"Natural gas is more than just a bridge fuel, it's the fuel of the future," Fusco said. "We have to get on the right side of the discussion."

On HoustonChronicle.com: Cheniere Energy takes patient approach to U.S. trade war with China

Fusco said he's been having conversations with other energy CEOs in Houston about changing the dialogue around climate issues. He said energy companies need to "get a seat at the table" for discussions on climate policy.

"We're already behind," he said. "We're playing catch up."

Fusco spoke about the potential of LNG to provide a cleaner alternative to coal, particularly in China. Speaking about a trip to Bejing, where he said he found it difficult to breathe, he emphasized the need to focus on the health benefits that LNG could bring to foreign markets.

In his remarks, Fusco said the industry already "lost" in Vietnam, where a coal-fired power plant expansion is underway.

On HoustonChronicle.com: Cheniere Energy inks deals to support two expansion projects

"We provide to them a cleaner alternative," he said. "They really need us, and it's for health reasons. They can't breathe."

Pitching its fuel overseas is a key strategy for Cheniere, which is in the third stage of construction of three large-scale production units at a new Corpus Christi facility, and seeking permission from regulators to build seven midscale production units. The company plans to market the fuel produced overseas.

The units would process 9.5 million metric tons of LNG per year. Apache will supply nearly 140 million cubic feet of natural gas, allowing the facility to make 850,000 metric tons of LNG per year.

"There is a great demand for the product; we don't see that going away any time soon," Fusco said.

Cheniere closed 2018 with a $471 million profit on $8 billion of revenue. Fusco's total reported compensation was $21.3 million in 2018, and he was one of the top paid CEOs in Houston, second to Ryan Lance of ConocoPhillips, according to data by S&P Global.

Source : https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/energy/article/Cheniere-Energy-wants-a-seat-at-climate-change-13990281.php

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