On Monday, several House Democrats joined their Republican counterparts in voicing apprehension about Joe Biden’s latest America Last energy decision. This move, involving a pause on approving new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals, has raised grave concerns about U.S. energy independence across the political spectrum.
The pause announced by the Biden administration puts a temporary halt on sanctioning new LNG projects while the Department of Energy broadens its review to include the climate impacts of such ventures. While Biden presents this as a bold step to tackle the “climate crisis,” critics argue it could have unintended consequences, both environmentally and geopolitically.
Speaking to the Daily Caller News Foundation, energy sector experts highlighted the paradox in Biden’s strategy. Halting U.S. LNG exports doesn’t necessarily mean a reduction in global emissions. Instead, it could empower foreign energy producers, some of whom may not align with American interests. This viewpoint suggests that the move might increase global emissions by driving potential importers of U.S. LNG to seek alternatives, possibly from nations with less stringent environmental controls.
The bipartisan backlash stems from a letter signed by seven Democratic members of the Energy Export Caucus, including prominent Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Jared Golden (D-ME). They argue that the policy threatens national security and the economy and undermines the goal of promoting clean energy. They contend that by stalling U.S. LNG production and exportation, the administration is inadvertently empowering foreign producers while not effectively addressing emission concerns.
Industry veterans like David Blackmon, a 40-year energy sector expert, echo this perspective. He points out the absurdity in the claim that this decision will curb emissions, emphasizing that global demand for natural gas will be met one way or another. If not by the U.S., then by countries with fewer environmental regulations.
The geopolitical implications of this decision are significant. Dan Kish from the Institute for Energy Research notes that it puts countries like Russia and Qatar in a favorable position. This could be a setback for NATO and European countries that rely on U.S. LNG. The impact extends beyond geopolitics; the decision has sparked fears about the economic repercussions, especially in the context of the struggling economies and industrial bases in Europe.
While the Biden administration’s decision doesn’t end projects like Calcasieu Pass 2 (CP2) in Louisiana outright, the delay introduces more uncertainty. This could affect financing and increase bureaucratic hurdles, potentially jeopardizing these initiatives.
The decision has been met with vigorous support from eco-activist groups, who view it as a victory for their movement. The White House’s response, amplifying these groups’ reactions, hints at the decision’s political underpinnings. Critics argue that it seems more aligned with appeasing a specific voter base than making a well-rounded environmental or economic decision.