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White House freezes new gas exports over climate, security concerns

The White House said Friday that the economic and environmental rules governing gas exports are now years out of date.
White House freezes new gas exports over climate, security concerns
Posted at 5:42 PM, Jan 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-26 19:42:39-05

Friday the Biden administration temporarily paused new approvals for the export of liquefied natural gas from the U.S., saying the rules need to better account for climate impact and costs to U.S. consumers.

The White House said Friday the economic and environmental rules governing exports are now years out of date. It says it will pause new export agreements so that the Department of Energy can update its standards.

“The pause will not affect already authorized exports, nor will it impact our ability to supply our allies in Europe, Asia or other recipients of already authorized exports,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a press call with reporters.

The administration also says there will be exceptions built into the change that will account for national 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,” President Biden said in a statement about the pause. “This pause on new LNG approvals sees the climate crisis for what it is: the existential threat of our time.”

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But there are concerns that the freeze will come at a risky time for global energy security.

“U.S. LNG plays an essential role in the energy transition, displacing dirtier Russian gas and higher-emissions energy sources that Europe, Japan and others around the world still rely on,” said Marty Durbin, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute. “The Administration’s decision … betrays our allies at a time of geopolitical instability and could slow the energy transition.”

The pause is effective immediately and will last until the Department of Energy brings its policies up to date.


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