Biden administration halts approval of liquified gas exports amid review

The temporary pause will allow the agency to understand the impacts of LNG exports on energy costs, the country's energy security, and the environment.

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The Department of Energy announced a halt on all approvals of liquified natural gas exports while it currently reviews the criteria used to determine if an application is in the public’s best interest. President Biden and Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said the temporary pause will allow the agency to understand the impacts of LNG exports on energy costs, the country’s energy security, and the environment.

The announcement comes after a broad coalition urged the administration to make a significant change in policy and end the expansion of gas exports.

“This pause on new liquified natural gas (LNG) approvals sees the climate crisis for what it is: The existential threat of our time,” The White House said in a press release.

The “re-evaluation of public interest determination criteria” is said to “help clear and growing evidence that gas exports are inconsistent with global climate targets, destroy local communities and critical ecosystems, and increase domestic energy costs,” the Sierra Club reported.

“Strong leadership, that rejects fossil fuel industry fear mongering, is our best bet to protect communities and ensure energy is affordable,” Ben Jealous, Sierra Club executive director, said. “It’s undeniable that LNG export projects are simply not in the public interest and we are confident that if this review is done right, that would end the rubber-stamping of these projects. The Biden administration is making the right choice on behalf of the planet, our communities, and our national security.”

While more than 400,000 people signed a petition to end the building of LNG export facilities, such as CP2 LNG, 60 percent of U.S. voters want the Biden administration to limit the exportation of gas to other countries, according to a poll from November 2023.

“This decision is a major win for communities and advocates that have long spoken out about the dangers of LNG, and makes it clear that the Biden administration is listening to the calls to break America’s reliance on dirty fossil fuels and secure a livable future for us all,” Jealous said.

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