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API on LNG Permit Pause: A ‘Win for Russia’ and ‘Broken Promise to U.S. Allies’

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WASHINGTON, January 26, 2024 – The American Petroleum Institute (API) today released the following statement from President and CEO Mike Sommers on the Biden administration's announcement to pause approvals of new LNG export facilities, unnecessarily increasing project wait times at a time of geopolitical turmoil and rising coal use around the world. 

“This is a win for Russia and a loss for American allies, U.S. jobs and global climate progress. There is no review needed to understand the clear benefits of U.S. LNG for stabilizing global energy markets, supporting thousands of American jobs and reducing emissions around the world by transitioning countries toward cleaner fuels. This is nothing more than a broken promise to U.S. allies, and it’s time for the administration to stop playing politics with global energy security.” 

The announcement undercuts President Biden's own pledge to send increased U.S. LNG supplies to our allies overseas to help end dependence on Russian gas. The pledge also committed the United States to “maintaining an enabling regulatory environment” for LNG.

An analysis of President Biden’s 2022 pledge to send more U.S. LNG supplies to our allies overseas found that its economic impact to the American economy could be as high as 71,500 jobs per year, $63 billion in capital expenditures and a GDP boost of $46 billion between 2025 and 2030. In 2022, the U.S. surged more than 800 LNG cargoes to Europe – a 141% increase from 2021. Recent studies show that both Europe and Asia face long-term natural gas supply gaps that threatens their energy security.

In the U.S., natural gas prices remain among the lowest in the world according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). While U.S. LNG exports reached record highs in 2023, domestic prices declined 62% as U.S. natural gas production also surged to record levels—demonstrating this industry’s ability to meet rising global demand for natural gas while maintaining a well-supplied domestic market.

U.S. LNG is critical for accelerating global emissions reductions by displacing higher-emitting fuels. Coal-to-gas switching is the main reason that the U.S. has led the world in reducing CO2 emissions over the past two decades. Global coal consumption continues to surge, likely reaching another all-time high in 2023. By 2024, three out of every four tons of coal consumed will occur in China, India and Southeast Asia. LNG can displace higher-emitting fuels like coal, allowing these countries advance their respective climate goals.

API represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry, which supports more than 11 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. Our approximately 600 members produce, process and distribute the majority of the nation’s energy, and participate in API Energy Excellence®, which is accelerating environmental and safety progress by fostering new technologies and transparent reporting. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization and has developed more than 800 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.


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