Science & Environment

Joe Biden Hits Brakes On Gas Projects Amid Surge In U.S. Exports

President Joe Biden on Friday briefly paused approval of latest liquefied pure gasoline export initiatives, pending an intensive evaluation of how shipments will affect international local weather change.

The transfer, which follows a growing pressure campaign from local weather activists, successfully freezes practically a dozen LNG export initiatives at the moment within the pipeline, together with the $10 billion Calcasieu Pass 2, or CP2, undertaking on Louisiana’s coast. If constructed, CP2 can be one of many largest LNG export amenities on the planet.

In a statement saying the choice, Biden mentioned that the pause “sees the climate crisis for what it is: the existential threat of our time,” and permits his administration to “take a hard look at the impacts of LNG exports on energy costs, America’s energy security, and our environment.”

“While MAGA Republicans willfully deny the urgency of the climate crisis, condemning the American people to a dangerous future, my Administration will not be complacent,” he mentioned, referring to supporters of former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” motion. “We will not cede to special interests.”

The U.S. is the biggest exporter of LNG, a planet-warming fossil gas {that a} current study from Cornell University decided has a bigger greenhouse gasoline footprint than burning coal.

Environmentalists, lots of whom have argued that Biden hasn’t acted aggressively sufficient to curb planet-warming emissions, hailed Friday’s announcement as a monumental victory for the local weather and front-line communities alongside the Gulf Coast most impacted by the speedy build-out of gasoline infrastructure.

“I’m thankful for this pause in granting gas export licenses; the [Department of Energy] has finally heard the wake-up call,” James Hiatt, the director of For a Better Bayou, an environmental justice group in southern Louisiana, mentioned in a press release.

“The gas industry was planning to inundate my hometown with LNG terminals. These gas export terminals, like CP2, are not just an environmental threat; they’re an economic burden on American families.”

Many argued that the Biden administration should go additional and completely block new amenities from being constructed.

“Given the massive volume of LNG currently being exported, and the numerous additional projects already approved and set to come online in coming years, anything less than a permanent halt to further expansion of this deadly industry is unacceptable,” Wenonah Hauter, the chief director of Food & Water Watch, mentioned in a press release. “Hopefully this pause represents the beginning of the end of fossil fuel exports in America.”

The American Petroleum Institute, the principle commerce affiliation for the U.S. oil and gasoline sector, condemned the pause as “a win for Russia and a loss for American allies” which might be importing U.S. gasoline.

“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,” API President and CEO Mike Sommers mentioned. “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 White House emphasized that Friday’s transfer is not going to affect the United States’ capacity to provide Europe with LNG within the brief time period and that the U.S. “remains unwavering in our commitment to supporting our allies around the world.” The pause “is subject to exception for unanticipated and immediate national security emergencies,” it mentioned.

In an interview with NPR on Friday morning, Ali Zaidi, the White House nationwide local weather adviser, dismissed the concept the LNG pause has something to do with polling that exhibits a majority of Americans disapprove of Biden’s dealing with of local weather change.

“This decision flows very clearly from the president’s incredibly strong leadership on climate change, which has been front and center from Day 1,” Zaidi informed NPR.

“This is the next step in a presidency where the president, very clearly from Day 1, has been unafraid to follow the facts, dedicated to following the science and front-line communities, and has had a very strong commitment to taking climate action,” he added.

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