Biden LNG export prohibition Facing tremendous backlash in Texas

Houston, TX: Republican and Democratic members of Congress from Texas are opposed to the proposed prohibition on liquified natural gas (LNG) exports by President Joe Biden.

A coalition of Texas Democrats urged the president to reconsider his plan following his announcement of the ban, in which he claimed exports would increase energy costs and methane emissions, claims that have been refuted by multiple organizations citing federal data.

Recognizing that Texas is the energy capital of the United States, nine Democratic U.S. representatives from Texas have urged Vice President Biden and his administration to “refocus on policies that support U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.”

Texas continues to set new records in the United States in the following areas: energy production, job creation, economic growth, oil and natural gas production, exports, and emissions reduction. In 2017, the United States, led by Texas, became a net exporter of natural gas for the first time since 1957.

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Given the United States’ ongoing preeminence in terms of energy resources and global stability, the exportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) serves as a critical factor in cultivating robust international alliances, broadening energy supply chains, and diminishing reliance on unstable areas. The endorsement by the Administration of U.S. LNG serves as an example for the international community to follow in its quest for environmentally friendly and sustainable energy alternatives.

Reps. Marc Veasey, Don Davis, Henry Cuellar, Jim Costa, Mary Peltola, Vicente Gonzalez, Lou Correa, Sylvia Garcia, and Lizzie Fletcher were among the Texas Democrats who endorsed the letter. A current opponent of Allred is Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.

The proposed legislation would amend the Natural Gas Act by eliminating all limitations on the import and export of natural gas. Additionally, it would grant the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) sole jurisdiction over applications authorizing the operation of LNG terminals and other facilities used to import or export natural gas to and from a foreign country.

FERC is an autonomous organization responsible for overseeing the interstate transmission and wholesale trade of electricity and natural gas, in addition to determining the prices of petroleum transported across state lines via pipeline. Current federal law mandates that the Department of Energy expeditiously approve natural gas exports to countries that are signatories to the Free Trade Agreement. The prohibition imposed by Biden applies to non-FTA nations.

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By existing legislation, the Energy secretary is obligated to approve non-FTA export requests, unless such exports are deemed to be contrary to the public interest. “There is an unambiguous statutory presumption that U.S. LNG exports are in the public interest,” states Pfluger.

Additionally, he highlights the fact that the Department of Energy has “previously authorized five studies to analyze the ramifications of U.S. LNG exports.” These studies “unanimously establish the positive impacts on domestic natural gas prices and the U.S. economy.” It published two studies that examined the life cycle of greenhouse gas impacts associated with U.S. LNG exports and found “significant environmental benefits.” He added that the studies were carried out during two administrations in the past that did not impede LNG exports.

By a vote of 224 to 200, the House rejected Pfluger’s bill with bipartisan support. It was supported by only three Democrats from Texas: Cuellar, Gonzalez, and Veasey.

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