The Biden administration has put a hold on the review process for potential new natural gas export terminals in the US, despite a significant increase in gas exports to Europe and Asia over the past five years.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has led to.
President Biden’s decision is in line with the concerns of environmental advocates who are worried about the significant rise in exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), as it could potentially have disastrous consequences.
The amount of emissions is expected to be reduced by half by 2030, as promised by the Democratic president.
“While MAGA Republicans willfully deny the urgency of the climate crisis, condemning the American people to a dangerous future, my administration will not be complacent,” Mr. Biden said in a statement. “We will not cede to special interests. We will heed the calls of young people and frontline communities who are using their voices to demand action from those with the power to act.”
Last year, the president gave approval for the massive Willow oil project in Alaska.
Bill McKibben, an environmental activist, stated in an online post that this choice is courageous because it will face strong opposition from Donald Trump, who previously withdrew from the Paris climate accords claiming that climate change is not real.
“However, it is also extremely shrewd. Biden seeks to gain the support of the youth, who prioritize climate issues. McKibben stated that they were outraged by his foolish endorsement of the Willow oil project.”
Bill McKibben pointed out that the proposed LNG export terminal in Louisiana would result in approximately 20 times more greenhouse gas emissions than Willow.
The speaker stated that the win will hold no significance if Biden does not get reelected, as Trump will immediately resume his efforts to promote drilling.
The suspension will not impact previously authorized exports, according to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
She stated that this will not affect our capacity to provide our allies in Europe, Asia, or other approved export destinations. We are dedicated to meeting our partners’ energy needs in the medium term.
Granholm stated during a White House briefing on Thursday evening that the Energy Department may make exceptions for national security purposes, if deemed necessary.
The duration of the permitting pause was not specified by her and other officials. However, they mentioned that a thorough examination of the potential impact of proposed LNG projects on the environment, economy, and national security will take “several months.” Following this, there will be a period for public comments which may further postpone any decisions on pending LNG projects until after the 2024 presidential election.
The United States started exporting liquefied natural gas less than ten years ago, but its growth has been significant in recent years, making the U.S. the top gas exporter globally. The export rate saw a sharp increase after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. President Biden and Granholm have acknowledged the significance of U.S. gas deliveries to Europe and Asia as a crucial geopolitical strategy against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Immediate sharp differences in stands on the move
The American Petroleum Institute, the leading advocacy group for the oil and gas sector, used those remarks to criticize the actions of the Democratic administration and denounce the president’s decision.
According to Mike Sommers, president and CEO of API, this is a victory for Russia and a defeat for American allies, employment in the U.S., and advancement in global efforts towards addressing climate change.
Sommers stated on Thursday that the advantages of U.S. LNG (exports) for stabilizing the global energy market, creating numerous job opportunities for Americans, and promoting a shift towards cleaner fuels and away from coal are evident and require no further explanation.
According to him, Mr. Biden’s decision is merely a reneged commitment to American allies, and it is imperative for the government to cease using geopolitical tactics that jeopardize energy stability worldwide.
Granholm, who has actively collaborated with leaders in the oil and gas industry despite occasional tensions between Mr. Biden and these executives, acknowledged that significant developments have occurred in the eight years since the start of LNG exports.
She stated that it is important for us to have a deeper comprehension of the demand for energy in the global market, as well as the long-term supply and demand of energy resources and how environmental factors play a role. Therefore, by modernizing the analysis process at this time, we will be more knowledgeable and able to prevent export authorizations that could decrease our domestic energy supply, compromise our security, or harm our economy.
Granholm stressed that the delay does not involve looking back at previously approved exports, and it is not meant to penalize the oil and gas sector.
“We have a strong dedication to enhancing energy security both in the U.S. and with our international allies. Additionally, we are dedicated to safeguarding Americans from the effects of climate change as we guide the world towards a future of clean energy,” she stated.
“Is it a game-changing moment or just an example of true irony?”
Jeremy Symons, who previously advised on climate policy for the Environmental Protection Agency and now works as an environmental consultant, hailed Mr. Biden’s choice as a significant development in the battle against climate change.
Symons stated in an interview that the president is taking a firm stance to prioritize the nation’s concerns and heed the advice of climate experts. According to Symons, the era of large-scale fossil fuel initiatives, such as the CP2 project, evading government review is coming to an end. The new president is committed to addressing climate change.
Symons and other advocates have focused on the proposed Calcasieu Pass 2 project, also known as CP2, located on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana. They point out that if the project is approved, it would become the largest export terminal in the country. Located in Cameron Parish, the project would have the capacity to export up to 20 million tons (18.1 million metric tons) of chilled natural gas annually, resulting in even more greenhouse gas emissions than the controversial Willow project, which has been criticized by environmentalists as a significant contributor to carbon emissions.
Symons denounced the gas project as detrimental to our country, our well-being, and our financial stability.
Shaylyn Hynes, spokeswoman for the project’s owner, Virginia-based Venture Global, said the Biden administration “continues to create uncertainty about whether our allies can rely on U.S. LNG for their energy security.”
Hynes, who previously worked as a spokesperson for the Energy Department under the Trump administration, stated that a prolonged halt in LNG exports would have a significant impact on the global energy market and could potentially harm the relationships with our allies, as it would imply that the United States is no longer a dependable source.
Hynes stated that the actual irony is that this policy would harm the environment and result in higher emissions of greenhouse gases. This is because it would require the world to switch from natural gas to coal.