ICYMI: Biden’s Worst Policy Yet: Consequences of Blocking US LNG Exports

Today, the GAIN Coalition hosted a webinar featuring key industry experts to discuss the local, economic, and global ramifications of the Biden administration’s indefinite pause of liquefied natural gas (LNG) permits enacted in January.

Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy and GAIN spokesman Craig Stevens opened the webinar with a discussion about the significant role Louisiana plays in energy export and security.

Following this fireside chat, Stevens welcomed a panel of energy experts, including Rep. Charlie Melancon, former US Representative for Louisiana’s 3rd district, Dr. Ellen Wald, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, and Brigham McCown, Senior Fellow and Director of Hudson Institute’s Initiative on American Energy Security.

Panelists explored the local ramifications the LNG ban will have on Louisiana, one of the fastest-growing LNG export hubs in the world, explained the significance LNG exports play in the American economy’s stability, and warned about the consequences to U.S. national security and global stability.

Senator Cassidy began the webinar by emphasizing how LNG helps the Biden Administration reach its lower carbon goal:

“[The Biden Administration] wants to make sure greenhouse emissions don’t worsen. But that’s why I referred earlier to the fact that the emissions in the United States are lower now than they were in 2005 because we have changed cleaner burning worldwide, it allows other countries to do the same…it’s better for the world’s environment if we ship our natural gas overseas.”

Rep. Melancon explained the economic impact the permitting pause has had on Louisianans:

“You are doing harm with this action of stopping the permitting because it takes away economic vantage. It takes away good-paying jobs. It takes away tax bases that will fund hospitals, healthcare, sheriff’s, fire protection, schools, the whole gamut of what government does to help for the betterment of the community.”

As Congress rushes to give aid to Ukraine, McCown explained how U.S. LNG exports impact global security – especially considering the role Russian gas exports play in funding its military:

“This decision is misguided, it has caused significant disruption throughout the international community,” he began. “Europe is trying to get off of natural gas, but they’re still importing Russian gas. And the German with whom I spoke last month admitted that they’re taking some Russian LNG, and now we are, in essence, continuing to fund the war in Ukraine.”

Dr. Wald emphasized that while the ban is only on LNG permits, there are ramifications industry-wide:

“It definitely puts into question at least 250,000 jobs potentially. But like I said, it’s not just the LNG industry. It’s not just these specific projects. It also spreads outward to the oil industry and natural gas industry in general. If you inject this kind of instability, people don’t know that they’re going to be able to depend on a permitting process that has been in place in the United States for a while.”

In their closing statements, each panelist reiterated that blocking U.S. LNG exports will continue to hurt not only the American people and economy but also our allies around the world.

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