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NAM, Allies to Congress: Lift LNG Export Permit Freeze Now

The Biden administration’s recent pause of liquefied natural gas export permits will harm the energy security of the U.S. and its allies, the NAM told lawmakers ahead of the first of two congressional committee hearings to be held this week on the matter.

What’s going on: “The United States is the world leader in exporting liquefied natural gas,” said NAM Managing Vice President of Policy Chris Netram prior to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, Climate and Grid Security’s hearing on “Politics Over People: How Biden’s LNG Export Ban Threatens America’s Energy and Economic Security.”

  • “The boom in U.S. natural gas has created tens of thousands of jobs in infrastructure and energy production projects, made the U.S. and its allies more energy secure and less reliant on adversarial nations like Russia, and helped meet our climate goals by reducing U.S. emissions by roughly 20% since 2005.”
  • The Department of Energy’s indefinite permit freeze—undertaken, according to the White House, so the administration can “take a hard look at the impacts of LNG exports on energy costs, America’s energy security and our environment”—threatens the environmental and security progress we’ve made and jeopardizes manufacturing competitiveness, Netram continued.

Supplying Europe: Since the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the U.S.—which has seven LNG operations and 10 other LNG projects already approved by the DOE and now in development—has increasingly been the primary supplier of Europe’s natural gas, replacing Russia.

  • “In the third quarter of 2021, prior to the invasion, 39% of the European Union’s gas came from Russia; two years later, that amount was down to 12%. This is in large part thanks to the importation of U.S. LNG,” Netram said.

Worsening a problem: The LNG export permit moratorium is “a step in the wrong direction,” Toby Rice, CEO of natural gas producer EQT Corp., told subcommittee members.

  • “I implore members of Congress to take this issue seriously, as I worry that we are on the brink of a significant energy crisis within the country,” Rice said. “That crisis will not be solved by keeping more resources here at home. … To solve this issue, we must build things,” such as natural gas pipelines and LNG export facilities, “and this moratorium must be lifted.”
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