Biden Set To Announce New LNG Export Ban After White House Met With Gen-Z Climate Warrior

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jan 26, 2024 - 08:25 PM

Global warming warriors in the White House plan to announce a new strategy later today: freeze new export permits for liquified natural gas (LNG) until the Department of Energy (DoE) can figure out climate impacts. 

In a statement released on the White House briefing website, President Biden said early Friday:

My Administration is announcing today a temporary pause on pending decisions of Liquefied Natural Gas exports – with the exception of unanticipated and immediate national security emergencies.

During this period, we will take a hard look at the impacts of LNG exports on energy costs, America's energy security, and our environment. This pause on new LNG approvals sees the climate crisis for what it is: the existential threat of our time.

Biden (or maybe his speech writers) justified the new strategy by hyping climate doom, indicating, "In every corner of the country and the world, people are suffering the devastating toll of climate change." 

Furthermore, the president said, "Wildfires destroying whole neighborhoods and forcing families to leave their communities behind. Record temperatures affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans, especially the most vulnerable." 

According to The New York Times, ahead of the decision, the Biden team met with Alex Haraus, a 25-year-old Colorado social media influencer who has led a social media campaign against LNG projects in the Gulf. 

As a reminder,2023 saw U.S. seaborne crude exports averaged 4 million b/d, an all-time high and up 19% year on year.

"In volumetric terms, the story has been all about Europe this year," Reid I'Anson, senior commodity analyst at Kpler, told FreightWaves.

“Europe continues to grow increasingly reliant on U.S. energy — not just LNG [liquefied natural gas] but across the board.”

Climate warriors in the Biden administration are walking a dangerous line ahead of the election to appease environmentalists. At the same time, this move could jeopardize LNG production and harm the economy and even national security. 

Bloomberg warned:

"The pause is set to at least temporarily stall projects in development, including Commonwealth LNG, Energy Transfer LP, and Venture Global LNG Inc. facilities planned in Louisiana." 

And, of course, the president had to blame "MAGA Republicans" for "willfully denying the urgency of the climate crisis" and "condemning the American people to a dangerous future."

Biden also noted, "We will not cede to special interests."

Nearly three dozen oil and gas groups warned in a letter Wednesday to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm that Biden's move is a "major mistake"

We wonder how Europe will feel about their energy security... as Biden continues to pressure Putin (and blow up pipelines)?

Of course, there is always the other side of this - there is no actual restriction at all, currently approved LNG facilities will allow exports to double over the next few years and this 'pause' of 'new' approvals is merely a headline-grabbing bone thrown to the climate-kids in an effort to buy votes?

However, that short-term political gain comes at longer-term economic pain as the introduction of this uncertainty will - at the margin - reduce the energy industry's willingness to invest in future supply.