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President Biden Must Pause Methane Gas Export Reviews To Ensure American Families Are Protected From Price Increase

WASHINGTON, D.C. – White House climate adviser Ali Zaidi convened a meeting of senior Biden administration officials  on Saturday to develop a policy recommendation intended to strengthen the Natural Gas Act’s public interest determination for most exports, according to reports. Two years ago Public Citizen asked the administration to address the energy affordability crisis impacting American households stemming from the U.S. ‘s record methane exports, calling on the Administration to include a distributional impact that exports have on raising energy bills for low- and moderate income families. Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s energy program, issued the following statement: 

“In just a few years, the United States went from zero exports of LNG to the world’s largest, as the Biden Administration presided over numerous export authorizations. The U.S. Department of Energy is tasked by Congress to permit exports of natural gas only to non-Free Trade Act countries which are ‘not inconsistent with the public interest.’ Despite this broad public interest mandate, the Biden Administration relies upon an outdated macroeconomic analysis from the Trump Administration to certify that exports are in the public interest.

“There is a vast body of evidence that record LNG exports are harming energy affordability for tens of millions of Americans. Increased LNG exports directly result in higher energy prices for American consumers.

“Public Citizen calculates that domestic consumers will face $14.3 billion in higher annual natural gas costs by 2050 as a result of continued LNG exports, based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Contrary to the false claims by the American Petroleum Institute, pausing review of not-yet-issued export authorizations in no way jeopardizes energy supply to American allies in Europe or Asia. That’s because already-approved export authorizations place the United States as the largest LNG supplier in the world, providing more than enough supply for our key allies. Further expansion of U.S. LNG export capacity simply empowers API’s Big Oil members to earn more price-gouging level of profits while further straining domestic energy markets, exposing American families to higher prices.

“The Biden Administration must modernize its public interest assessment of exports by including a distributional analysis of its impact on families at different income levels. Further, as industry looks to move natural gas from the Permian Basin to planned LNG export terminals in Mexico, the Biden Administration must  include a revamp of U.S. Department of State procedures for reviewing exports’ impact on the climate. That’s because the State Department signed off on Oneok’s Saguaro pipeline, designed to export U.S. fracked gas from the Permian basin to a planned bevy of LNG export terminals on Mexico’s pacific coast.” 

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