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Protecting LNG Exports Means Protecting Big Oil Profits at the Expense of Working Texans, Public Citizen Says Ahead of TX House Hearing

The Texas House Select Committee on Protecting LNG Exports meets today in Port Arthur

PORT ARTHUR, Texas—Sending record amounts of liquefied methane (LNG) overseas in recent years has meant higher energy bills for Texans and caused further damage to the environment, Public Citizen said today ahead of a state House hearing focused on protecting Big Oil profits.

The Texas House Select Committee on Protecting LNG Exports met today in Port Arthur. Formed by House Speaker Dade Phelan, the five-member committee is tasked with developing recommendations for how the Legislature can respond to the Biden Administration’s pause on issuing permits for LNG export facilities. The temporary pause, announced in February, affects multiple planned LNG infrastructure expansion projects, including one in Port Arthur.

“It’s working families who need protecting, not a harmful industry that has driven energy prices in this state higher while shipping record amounts of  LNG to the highest bidders worldwide,” said Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s energy program. “On top of powerful climate-warming emissions, unrestrained LNG exports only generate big profits for fossil fuel CEOs and higher consumer costs. Lawmakers should focus on protecting regular Texans and let multi-billion dollar corporations fight their own battles.”

Federal data shows that the price of natural gas used by residential customers in Texas in 2023 was up by 50% from 2016, while industrial consumer prices spiked dramatically in 2021 and 2022 before returning to more typical levels last year. During Winter Storm Uri in February 2021, gas supplies plummeted, while demand for natural gas used to heat people’s homes surged, resulting in a dramatic and sudden spike in the price of gas used by power plants.

“Instead of calling this committee ‘protecting Texas LNG exports,’  it should be called ‘protecting Texans from LNG exports,’ which can potentially worsen the effects of climate change, further harming communities of color along the Texas Gulf sacrifice coast,” added John Beard, CEO and founder of the Port Arthur Community Action Network. “This hearing should be concerned with the lack of economic benefit,  environmental justice implications, and environmental harm. If today was truly about jobs, economics, environmental, or social harms, there should be no opposition to the permitting pause.”