Today the Biden administration announced a pause in the permitting approval process for new liquified natural gas (LNG) export facilities throughout the country, pending a new review of the Energy Department’s criteria for whether such facilities meet a “public interest” threshold.
In response, Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter issued the following statement:
“The administration’s reconsideration of new LNG export projects is a prudent and positive step, but the pause is only as good as it lasts. Any new criteria that ultimately allows for the continued approval of these disastrous facilities would be worthless.
“Given the massive volume of LNG currently being exported, and the numerous additional projects already approved and set to come online in coming years, anything less than a permanent halt to further expansion of this deadly industry is unacceptable. Hopefully this pause represents the beginning of the end of fossil fuel exports in America.”
Among the proposed export projects now put on hold is Venture Global’s giant Calcasieu Pass 2 (CP2), which would constitute the largest such facility ever approved. At full volume, the lifecycle emissions of burning that much gas will add up to 190 million tonnes of CO2e each year – equivalent to the emissions from more than 42 million gas-powered cars or 51 coal-fired power plants. In December, 170 climate scientists wrote to the administration urging rejection of CP2 and all other LNG permits, citing the significant climate impacts.