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American Families’ Pocketbooks Win From Biden’s Pause and Review of LNG Exports

Administration’s decision a major victory that protects frontline communities and economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Biden administration today pressed pause on pending decisions on exports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to non-free trade act countries until the Department of Energy can update the underlying analyses for authorizations. Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s energy program, issued the following statement: 

“For far too long, Big Oil executives have pursued an ‘America Last’ policy, price gouging consumers and pushing harmful export policies, in a myopic and ham-fisted vision that puts profit above everything. Reconsidering the impact fossil fuel exports have on our economy and climate is a vital step toward protecting American households from the impact LNG exports have on higher utility bills. Eighty-five years ago, Congress mandated that natural gas exports must be ‘consistent with the public interest,’ and the federal government’s current approval process ignores the overwhelming evidence that LNG exports expose American families to higher energy costs, pollute communities of color, and spew greenhouse gas emissions that imperil our climate. 

“Pausing pending export authorizations while this review takes place in no way disrupts current supplies to our allies overseas, but instead ensures that a balanced, thorough assessment of the consumer, climate, and environmental justice impacts are considered as part of the congressional public interest mandate.

“At a moment when our allies’ energy needs are served by current export capacity, Big Oil pushes growth of LNG exports because expanded exports generate windfall profits. It is not in the public interest to hand Big Oil windfall profits while American families struggle to pay their energy bills. President Biden’s actions today mark a first step toward ensuring American households are protected by higher energy burdens caused by record exports, while safeguarding frontline communities disproportionately burdened by fossil fuel pollution. The pause of these LNG exports marks an important milestone on the pathway protecting our climate, and consumers from the greed of Big Oil.”

Further Reading:

An analysis by Public Citizen,  Friends of the Earth, and Bailoutwatch demonstrated that eight commercially viable, pending LNG projects will produce the annual equivalent of 113 coal plants in planet-warming emissions and that most of the expected volume from these pending facilities will go to commodity trading firms,  Big Oil’s speculative trading arms as well as Asia Pacific customers  That counters industry claims that LNG expansion is needed for European energy security.

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