Biden Pauses Liquefied Natural Gas Export Approvals in Desperate Bid to Appeal to Climate Cultists

2024-01-27 09:00:38

Recently, I noted that the United States seemed to be “quiet quitting” insane “net zero” carbon emission goals, as oil production has surged recently.

Of course, inexpensive and efficient energy supplies are making climate cultists unhappy.

With this in mind, it is interesting to note that Reuters, hardly a right-wing organization, recently reported that former President Donald Trump (and likely 2024 Republican presidential nominee) has opened up a lead general election polling.

The nationwide poll of 1,250 U.S. adults showed Trump leading Biden 40% to 34% with the rest unsure or planning to vote for someone else or no one. The poll had a margin of error of three percentage points.

That represented a gain for Trump after a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted earlier this month showed him and Biden tied, though a nationwide survey does not capture the subtleties of the electoral college contest that will be decided this fall in just a handful of competitive states.

So, what did Biden do? He tossed a small policy crumb to the climate cultists. The occupant of the White House paused approvals for pending and future applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from new projects.

The Department of Energy (DOE) will conduct a review during the pause that will look at the economic and environmental impacts of projects seeking approval to export LNG to Europe and Asia where the fuel is in hot demand.

The review will take months and then will be open to public comment which will take more time, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters in a teleconference.

Biden said in a statement: “During this period, we will take a hard look at the impacts of LNG exports on energy costs, America’s energy security, and our environment.”
The pause “sees the climate crisis for what it is: the existential threat of our time,” said Biden, a Democrat.

The bureaucrats apparently looked at the number and decided there was too much production of this important energy resource going on.

U.S. LNG capacity has doubled in recent years and is set to double again under projects already approved, the White House said. Current methods the Energy Department uses to evaluate LNG projects don’t adequately account for potential cost hikes for American consumers and manufacturers or the impact of greenhouse gas emissions, officials said.

“There’s a long runway here (for LNG projects) and we’re taking a step back and thinking, okay, let’s take a hard look before that runway continues to build out,’’ said White House climate adviser Ali Zaidi.

As Hot Air’s Beege Welborn notes, the move has the possibility of hurting our European allies, which were promised American LNG to replace the Russian gas that they are boycotting because of Ukraine. The LNG supply is even tighter now, given the Houthi piracy in the Red Sea.

The administration is now scrambling to assure our allies in Europe that Biden will keep his commitments.

Administration officials vowed the pause would not hurt allies, saying the plan will come with exemptions for national security should they need more LNG.

“We are committed to strengthening energy security here in the U.S. and with our allies,” Granholm said.

I question the timing of this move. Given Gov. Greg Abbott’s move to contain the southern border in opposition to Biden and the subsequent support of 25 governors, including those from all gulf coast states, it must be noted that the pause is going to hit facilities in Texas and Louisiana hardest.

  • Commonwealth LNG has been waiting since November 2022 for approval for its 9.3 million-metric-tonnes-per-annum (mtpa) LNG export facility in Cameron, Louisiana. The firm has reached agreements for just about 50% of capacity and was targeting a final investment decision this year.
  • Sempra’s (SRE.N) , opens new tab Port Arthur, Texas, LNG’s trains 3 and 4, capable of producing up to 13.5 mtpa, applied for authorization from DOE in September 2023. The facility’s Phase 2 represents an expansion on the already producing first phase.
  • Energy Transfer (ET.N) , opens new tab re-applied for an export permit for its Lake Charles LNG facility in Louisiana after its original permit expired without completing construction. It sought a new non-FTA license in August 2023.
  •  Glenfarne Group’s Magnolia LNG, which expects to produce 8.8 mtpa of LNG at a facility in Louisiana, also refiled its permit, but the company has not provided details on dates. The project has not moved forward.

If there is a pro-American policy decision Team Biden has ever made, I can’t name it.


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