Biden’s Pause on LNG Export Permits Undermines Historic US-Ukraine Deal

On June 13th, DTEK, Ukraine’s biggest private energy corporation, signed a new agreement with U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG) producer Venture Global. The deal is monumental: the first major LNG arrangement between an American exporter and Ukraine. Through its trading arm D. Trading, DTEK will be purchasing LNG cargo from Venture Global’s Plaquemines facility in Louisiana, beginning this year through the end of 2026, and will also purchase up to 2 million metric tons per year from Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass 2 (CP2) for 20 years. The plan additionally includes partnership opportunities to obtain regasification terminal and gas pipeline capacity, which could bolster the energy security of Ukraine and Eastern Europe.

The agreement emerges ahead of the imminent expiration of Ukraine’s current five-year deal with Russian energy corporation Gazprom, which Ukraine has explicitly stated it will not renew. Instead, Ukraine has focused on new supply alternatives and avoiding contributing to Russian funding or power abuse. In an official announcement, DTEK stated that “European energy security is at the core of the [agreement] between D. Trading and Venture Global.” The DTEK and Venture Global LNG deal exemplifies how American LNG exports can help Ukraine and other European nations cut off Russian energy – promoting European energy security.

Despite this deal being a win for both the U.S. and Europe, a problem still stands in its way. While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently approved a development permit for Calcasieu Pass 2, further permits for the export facility will be held up by the Department of Energy (DOE). Biden’s DOE has placed the entire required certification process for LNG exporters on pause, immobilizing this landmark agreement that could take a step toward insulating the European energy sector from Russia’s manipulation. Biden’s DOE must recognize and prioritize American and European LNG trade to promote national security as well as the energy strength of our allies.

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