Democrat President Joe Biden has just canceled serval massive natural gas projects amid pressure from climate activists.
On Friday, the White House announced that pending decisions on exports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to non-FTA countries have been halted until the Department of Energy could update the underlying analyses for authorizations.
Following pressure from the climate mob, federal officials will now conduct a rigorous environmental review assessing the projects’ “carbon emissions.”
The reviews, however, could take more than a year to complete.
Projects involving billions of dollars will be disrupted over the move which has put over 70,000 jobs at risk.
Critics contend that President Biden’s actions will hurt Europe’s capacity to power its economy without relying on Russian gas.
“The pause could have implications for more than a dozen proposals now awaiting review at the Energy Department, including ventures planned in Louisiana by Commonwealth LNG and Energy Transfer LP,” Bloomberg reported.
Climate activists have loudly taken aim at LNG export projects in recent weeks.
They argue that the projects will lead to a large uptick in “carbon emissions” and worsen “global warming.”
“As our exports increase, we must review export applications using the most comprehensive up-to-date analysis of the economic, environmental, and national security considerations,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters on a press call.
“This action includes a pause on pending applications for exports of U.S. natural gas as LNG to non-free trade agreement countries until the department can update the underlying analyses for authorizations.
“The U.S. is committed to affordable energy and economic opportunities for all Americans.
“We are committed to strengthening energy security here in the U.S. and with our allies,” Granholm continued.
“And we’re committed to protecting Americans against climate change as we lead the world into a clean energy future.”
While it is unclear which proposed projects the action will affect, a senior administration official told reporters at least two have a larger capacity and two have a smaller capacity.
Another official added that the pause implemented Friday will only impact projects that have gone through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) lengthy approval process and are ripe for DOE approval.
According to federal data updated this week, there are 11 projects that have been green-lit by FERC but are not yet under construction.
An additional four projects are pending before FERC and two are in the pre-filing stage.
Those six projects wouldn’t be impacted by the pause since they are not before DOE yet, but they would be impacted if approved by FERC.
“From day one, we have looked out for frontline communities from day one,” White House “climate czar” Ali Zaidi said.
“From day one, we have stood with our allies and partners.
“That’s how Joe Biden leads on climate change.
“And when it comes to the climate crisis, we square our shoulders, we take on the challenge in front of us, we lean into the solutions and, yes, we transition globally away from fossil fuels.
“That is the solution, that is the strategy that the president has articulated.”
“As the department steps forward in this way under Secretary Granholm’s leadership, I think it’s important to note the context in which this happens,” Zaidi added.
“We’re doing this weeks removed from a U.N. climate conference where the United States, under President Biden’s leadership, was out front making sure that the global community was clear-eyed about the need to transition globally away from fossil fuels.”
LNG export terminals have been opposed by Democrats and environmentalists who argue they would create harmful pollution and contribute to “global warming.”
The issue has led to activists posting videos on social media which, over the last two months, have generated tens of millions of views.
Additionally, in December, dozens of environmental groups wrote to Granholm, imploring her to reject the LNG development “for the sake of our climate and communities.”
Days later, 170 United Nations-linked scientists penned a letter to President Biden, asking him to reject pending LNG facilities.
Climate activist Bill McKibben recently announced he was organizing a civil disobedience protest outside the DOE’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., over the permitting of new LNG export terminals.
He said the action would mimic the protests that helped nationalize the Keystone XL pipeline fight during the Obama administration.
However, proponents of additional LNG export facilities say the projects are vital to help meet energy demand in Europe and Asia as nations look to wean off Russian natural gas supplies
In late January, a number of oil and gas advocates wrote a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
In the letter, they argued against the proposed change in the permitting process for U.S. LNG exports. They wrote:
While our European allies have made significant strides in reducing their reliance on Russian natural gas thanks to American energy producers, Europe faces a considerable supply gap over the long-term that should be met by American energy, not hostile nations.
Moving forward with a pause on U.S. LNG export approvals would only bolster Russian influence and undercut President Biden’s own commitment to supply our allies with reliable energy, undermining American credibility and threatening American jobs.
An analysis of the President’s pledge to Europe found that the benefits to the United States could include $63 billion in capital expenditures, a GDP boost of $46 billion, and 71,500 jobs supported annually from 2025-2030.