President Joe Biden on Friday froze the consideration of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals, a move that industry leaders called a "win for Russia."
The action freezes approvals of pending permits for LNG export terminals until the Department of Energy updates its process for review of the authorizations' economic and environmental impacts. The executive branch can make exceptions for cases of immediate national security emergencies, and the pause will not affect terminals that have been authorized already but are not yet online.
"This is a win for Russia and a loss for American allies, U.S. jobs, and global climate progress," said American Petroleum Institute president Mike Sommers. "There is no review needed to understand the clear benefits of U.S. LNG for stabilizing global energy markets, supporting thousands of American jobs, and reducing emissions around the world by transitioning countries toward cleaner fuels. This is nothing more than a broken promise to U.S. allies, and it’s time for the administration to stop playing politics with global energy security."
The administration had previously acknowledged that U.S. LNG exports have been a boon to America's allies in Europe amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, having stopped President Vladimir Putin from wielding natural gas as a weapon.