House Deals Setback to Biden’s Climate Agenda, Rejects Natural Gas Moratorium

GOP Whip Emmer stated that Joe Biden would prefer to appease radical environmentalists within his party rather than protect hardworking Americans.

The controversial decision by the Biden administration to suspend the exports of natural gas liquefied could increase your heating bill.

The House voted on Thursday afternoon to strip the Biden Administration of its authority to approve natural gas exports, a blow against the climate agenda of the President.

The House passed the Unlocking Domestic LNG Potential Act by a vote of 224 to 200, with 215 Republicans voting for it and nine Democrats.

Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas), who chairs the House Energy Action Team and is the chairman of the House Energy Action Team introduced the legislation in February, arguing that the legislation would overturn recent President Biden actions suspending permits for new LNG export projects.

“Just last summer, President Biden told Europeans they had to stop using Russian gas. The U.S. was going to supply their needs for liquid natural gas. Pfluger stated that he was reneging upon the deal to appease his climate-change radical base.

Two-thirds (or two-thirds) of the natural gas produced worldwide is produced by four countries: Russia Iran the United States and Qatar. The Texas legislator continued, “This effective ban on U.S. LNG is a gift for Putin and the Iranian regime who just killed three military personnel with their weapons that they gave to the Houthis.” “I’m proud to defend American jobs when the President appears to only represent the interests of Russia or Iran.”

Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas) said that President Biden took recent actions to “appease the radical climate base”.

Pfluger noted that Russian gas was 40% dirtier than U.S. natural gas. He also said that Biden’s recent ban on LNG exports was a “horrible” decision for the environment.

Pfluger’s bill, if passed, would amend the Natural Gas Act of 1938 and give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission exclusive authority to approve, deny, or reject applications for LNG export projects, including the location, construction, expansion, or operation.

In approving or refusing permits, FERC will be required to “determine that the importation or the exportation of gas is consistent with the public interest.”

Joe Biden is more interested in appeasing the radical environmentalists within his party than protecting hardworking Americans. House Republicans won’t stand by as the Biden administration’s Green New Deal agenda destroys American Jobs, stifles American Energy, and benefits our enemies,” House Majority Leader Tom Emmer, R. Minn., stated in a press release.

FERC currently conducts a rigorous environmental and economic review of LNG projects. After FERC’s evaluation, it is up to the Department of Energy (DOE), will determine whether the projects that export LNG into countries not covered by free trade agreements serve the national interests and give the final approval.

In a dramatic move made last month, President Biden ordered the suspension of all pending natural gas export projects. Environmentalists opposed to fossil fuel development applauded the action.

Biden, in a late-month order, ordered DOE to suspend all LNG export permits pending while the agency conducts an environmental review. This is part of its national interest analysis and assesses the carbon emissions from the projects. This review could take over a year.

Energy associations, Republicans, and former federal officials condemned the action, arguing LNG exports were critical to maintaining low energy costs in the U.S. and helping American allies wean themselves off Russian gas, as well as reducing global carbon emissions. In December 2023, they noted that more than 87% of U.S. gas exports were going to Europe, the U.K., or Asian markets, which previously relied on Russian gas.

Marty Durbin is the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute, which has endorsed the Unlocking Domestic LNG Potential Act.

Durbin said that the continued expansion of U.S. Export capacity was essential for American interests, as Europe relies on Russia for almost 15 percent of its natural gas consumption. The global demand is expected to continue to grow for several decades.

Ranking Member Frank Pallone attends TikTok CEO’s hearing. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, stated that the Unlocking Domestic LNG Potential Act will benefit China. Only a fraction of U.S. exports of LNG are shipped to China.

Environmental activist groups and Democrats criticized the legislation. They argued that stripping DOE of its authority to allow LNG exports will exacerbate climate change and benefit Chinese industry.

Make no mistake, if this bill became law Americans would have to pay more money for gas that keeps their lights and homes warm. The bill is an insult to middle-class households who can’t afford more volatility in fossil fuel prices,” said House Energy and Commerce ranking member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), who claimed that the bill will “enrich China.”

Just 6.7% of U.S. exports of LNG are sent to China, according to the latest federal data. The majority of U.S. LNG exports go to Europe and Asia, including Japan and South Korea.

Now the legislation is on its way to the Senate, where Tim Scott, R.S.C. and 16 other Republicans have introduced companion legislation. Biden, according to the White House, would veto a bill that was passed.

The White House announced on Tuesday that it believes the current laws, which would be repealed by this bill, are critical to protecting residential and industrial energy consumers, as well as national and domestic security.