Energy trade groups urge Congress to counter Biden’s LNG ban with new legislation

January 31, 2024

(WO) –  Energy Workforce & Technology Council (EWTC) joined the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), US Oil and Gas Association (USOGA), National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), Texas Alliance of Energy Producers and Gulf Energy Alliance today in urging Congress to take immediate legislative action to counter the Biden administrations’ recent decision to halt LNG permits.

The legislation, “Unlocking our Domestic LNG Potential Act,” was introduced by U.S. Congressman August Pfluger and seeks to place the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in charge of all LNG export permitting in the United States.

“Removing DOE from the process will help to ensure that political maneuvers will not interfere with energy supplies,” wrote the trade associations. “It is vital that Congress send an immediate message to our allies, and enemies, abroad that U.S LNG will continue to flow uninterrupted for many years to come.”

The Biden administration’s announcement to pause new non-FTA permits for LNG export facilities threatens to stifle the progress made by the unprecedented ramp-up of the United States’s domestic energy production and the fundamental shift in European energy security.

“It is imperative that political calculations do not get in the way of energy policy that benefits the US economy, provides energy security to our allies abroad, and supports lower emissions worldwide,” said Energy Workforce & Technology Council President Tim Tarpley. “In 2022, President Biden stood hand in hand with Europe and pledged to provide Europe with additional US LNG exports. Now, this about face by the Administration stands to negatively impact over 115,000 jobs nationwide and an anticipated loss of over $46 billion in GDP. Congress must act immediately to reverse this decision.”

“Plentiful domestic natural gas production as a result of the Shale Revolution made it economical to liquify, transport, and export American natural gas while simultaneously bringing prices down at home," said Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) President & CEO Jeff Eshelman. "It’s IPAA’s view that the Department of Energy restricting LNG exports threatens national security, American jobs and global climate goals. We support Rep. Pfluger’s ‘Unlocking Our Domestic LNG Potential Act’ to rightfully put LNG permitting authority with FERC where it belongs.”

“The notion that we need to stop exports to study them is simply not a regulatory requirement. That's tap dancing for a bad policy. Our allies, particularly in Europe, will pay the price for the Department of Energy’s politically motivated decision,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance. As Germany has proven, if our allies don't have access to U.S. natural gas then they’ll need to burn more coal to keep the power going. Congress should revoke the licensing requirement and get DOE out of the business of gumming up trade, since natural gas export is so obviously beneficial for our country as much as for our allies.”

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