What They Are Saying: President Biden's LNG Permitting Freeze
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As the U.S. Senate and Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing tomorrow over the administration’s LNG permitting freeze, concerns continue to grow from members of both parties and American allies. The freeze is even at odds with prior statements from senior administration officials on the critical role of U.S. LNG in supporting global energy security and reducing emissions around the world. Here’s what they’re saying:
The Biden administration’s LNG permitting freeze is a loss for America’s allies...
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken: The U.S. is “now the leading supplier of LNG to Europe to help compensate for any gas or oil that it’s losing as a result of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.” (U.S. State Department, 9/30/22)
U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Brad Crabtree: “[T]he U.S. natural gas and liquefied natural gas industries have stepped up and played a key role in supporting Europe’s energy security. This year, approximately two-thirds of U.S. LNG exports have gone to Europe.” (U.S. State Department, 9/30/22)
U.S. Climate Envoy John Podesta: “The United States should do everything it can to support its European allies as they try to reduce their dependence on Russian natural gas.” (Center for American Progress, 3/25/22)
Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk: “We’re a democracy; we're the leader of the free world. I think it's a much better outcome for Japan or others to get their energy supplies from the U.S. than to get it from Russia or other countries.” (E&E News, 3/8/21)
Japan Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Ken Saito: “[W]e are concerned that the temporary suspension of export permits will delay the start of new LNG production from the U.S. … We would like to carefully examine the medium to long-term impact of the issue and take necessary steps to ensure that Japan's stable energy supply is not compromised.” (Reuters, 1/30/24)
Menelaos Ydreos, Secretary General of the International Gas Union: “The current dynamic we are seeing unfold is highly worrying. It is eroding these fundamental market principles and will harm global energy security and emission reduction.” (International Gas Union, 1/30/24)
French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade Olivier Becht: “What’s certain is that in the current geopolitical environment, we’re counting a lot on American gas.” (Wall Street Journal, 1/12/24)
Progressive Policy Institute: “[T]he the threat of curtailing LNG exports to our allies will put the markets, the EU, and Asia in turmoil, threatening the energy security of our allies with no climate benefit.” (Progressive Policy Institute, 1/26/24)
...global climate progress...
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm: “I believe U.S. LNG exports can have an important role to play in reducing international consumption of fuels that have greater contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.” (Axios, 2/3/21)
U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel: “LNG can be a major contributor – with the reduction of methane – both on the global energy stability and security for every country but also a contributor to our collective individual goals, our collective and individual goals as countries in seeing and meeting our objective by 2050 in net-zero.” (Remarks at LNG PCC 2023, 7/26/23)
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol: “From an emissions point of view, US LNG – if it replaces coal in Asia – it can lead to significant emission declines both in terms of CO2 emissions but also for air pollution.” (Testimony, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, 2/3/21)
Asian Natural Gas and Energy Association President Paul Everingham: “Without sufficient access to gas imports, energy security and the energy transition will be elusive for the people of Southeast Asia, and that in turn places at risk the ambitious decarbonization plans spearheaded by Japan, which take into account Asian nations’ specific requirements.” (Washington Times, 1/27/24)
Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX) led nine house Democrats in a letter urging President Biden to "refocus" his administration's policies on natural gas, writing that, “Every molecule of U.S. LNG exported helps limit the growth of global emissions and provides energy security around the world.” (Rep. Marc Veasey, Letter to Biden Re LNG Permitting Pause, 2/1/24)
Sens. John Cornyn and Bill Cassidy: “Biden’s decision to halt new LNG export projects is sure to bolster hostile nations, line the pockets of dictators and increase global emissions. It’s a dangerous move that hurts our allies and helps our adversaries.” (Houston Chronicle, 2/4/24)
...and American consumers, U.S. jobs and economic opportunity...
Sen. Joe Manchin: “The indisputable facts are that, to-date, America’s LNG production has strengthened our economy, created good-paying jobs, supported the energy needs of our allies around the world, and helped reduce global emissions.” (Sen. Joe Manchin, Press Release, 1/26/24)
Letter from Reps. Carol Miller, Lou Correa, Jodey Arrington, Henry Cuellar and more than a dozen other House lawmakers: “To hamstring an industry that provides millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in GDP would be blatantly against the public interest.” (Rep. Carol Miller, Letter to President Biden Re LNG Permitting Pause, 2/5/24)
Pennsylvania Senators Bob Casey and John Fetterman: “[W]e we have concerns about the long-term impacts that this pause will have on the thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry. If this decision puts Pennsylvania energy jobs at risk, we will push the Biden Administration to reverse this decision.” (U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Press Release, 2/1/24)
Colorado Reps. Yadira Caraveo and Doug Lamborn: “[T]he decision to pause new LNG exports will have a chilling effect on the gas sector and cause real harm to Colorado consumers and workers.” (Rep. Yadira Caraveo and Rep. Doug Lamborn, Letter to President Biden Re Pause on New LNG Export Approvals, 2/1/24)
Brookings Fellow Smantha Goss: “In addition to undermining U.S. foreign policy, cutting back on LNG exports is unlikely to make much difference in prices at home. The United States consistently enjoys some of the world’s lowest natural gas prices. U.S. LNG export capacity is expanding, but the United States has huge natural gas reserves and production is likely to expand along with export capacity.” (Brookings, 2/18/24)
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