Republican lawmakers say the Biden administration’s pause on LNG exports is ’strategically dangerous and unnecessary.’
More than 150 House Republicans have urged the Biden administration to end the pause on approvals for U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, citing concerns over its impact on global energy security.
However, many Republican lawmakers have pushed back against the Biden administration’s move, saying it is “economically and strategically dangerous and unnecessary.”
“Your administration should do everything it can to encourage greater production of clean-burning and reliable natural gas, and to grant the export permits that allow access to global markets,” they stated.
In the letter, the lawmakers said that European allies “are desperately seeking American energy to counter Russia’s weaponization of its natural gas exports.”
They said that the pause would weaken global energy security, noting that over 87 percent of U.S. LNG exports went to the European Union, the United Kingdom, or Asian markets in December 2023.
“Actions that slow or halt the ability to export U.S. LNG would weaken global energy security and put these strategic markets at risk,” the letter reads.
“Such actions would undercut efforts we have made to help Europe reduce its reliance on Russian energy.”
‘Must Be Reversed’
The lawmakers stated that pausing U.S. LNG exports would also “interfere with domestic markets for natural gas, jeopardizing the stability and affordability of prices for American consumers.”
They cited studies indicating that LNG exports could add upwards of $73 billion to the U.S. economy by 2040, create upwards of 453,000 American jobs, and increase U.S.-held purchasing power by $30 billion.
“The US produces cleaner and more reliable LNG than anywhere else in the world,” House Speaker Mike Johnson, who is one of the signatories, posted on X (formerly Twitter).
Bicameral Letter to Biden
On Feb. 8, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) led members of the Florida delegation in the House of Representatives in sending a bicameral letter to President Biden to voice their “deep concerns” over the pause.
According to the letter, Florida plays a pivotal role in the broader landscape of U.S. LNG exports, and “any decisions made in this regard will have a direct impact on our state’s economy and security.”
“We strongly urge you to reconsider your actions that impede America’s future leadership on LNG exports and properly align your policy review with continued real-world needs,” they stated.
“At a time when the world is teetering on the edge of World War III, depriving America of continued leadership growth over a reliable and comparatively clean form of energy is harmful at best and maniacal at worst,” they added.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Europe turned to the United States for assistance in its quest to eliminate dependence on Moscow. In 2022, the United States exported approximately 800 LNG cargo shipments to Europe, marking a 141 percent increase from the previous year.
“There is no review needed to understand the clear benefits of U.S. LNG for stabilizing global energy markets, supporting thousands of American jobs, and reducing emissions around the world by transitioning countries toward cleaner fuels,” said Mike Sommers, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API).
“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,” he added.
Andrew Moran contributed to this report.