Here’s What The White House Isn’t Saying About Its Moratorium On Approving Natural Gas Export Hubs


The White House is neglecting to address crucial contextual information when it touts its decision to pause approvals for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals.

President Joe Biden has touted the move as a decisive step on climate, and White House National Climate Adviser Ali Zaidi suggested that fears of negative geopolitical interests for the U.S. are overblown since many key allies are transitioning away from fossil fuels in the long-term anyways. However, there is strong potential that global emissions could increase as a result of the ban, or that America’s reputation with key allies could suffer because of the administration’s decision to throw a wrench into major LNG export projects.

“In every corner of the country and the world, people are suffering the devastating toll of climate change,” Biden said last Friday, when the decision became official. “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 … This pause on new LNG approvals sees the climate crisis for what it is: the existential threat of our time.”

Biden’s comments suggest that American LNG export terminals and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with LNG’s transport are problematic enough to warrant a pause, and, by extension, possible termination. What he did not acknowledge, however, is that would-be buyers of U.S. LNG will look elsewhere to meet their needs rather than give up on finding supply in light of the approval pause, as energy sector experts recently told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Instead, those would-be buyers, whether in Asia or Europe, will likely look to producers in Russia and Qatar, for example, in their scramble to fill in the unexpected gap in their forecasted supply, energy sector experts told the DCNF. The U.S. produces LNG more cleanly than most other nations, Dan Kish, a senior research fellow for the Institute for Energy Research, told the DCNF. meaning that a move prompting buyers to look to countries that produce LNG in less clean fashion is a move that effectively increases emissions.

The pause on approvals “won’t bring down emissions at all, because the U.S. produces LNG with the least environmental impact of just about every other country on Earth,” Kish told the DCNF. “Russia and Qatar are clearly in the driver’s seat as a result of this decision.”