Monday, April 15, 2024

Alexander: LNG Export Ban Continues Biden Attack on U.S. and Louisiana Energy Industry

by BIZ Magazine

I have recounted before the numerous ways—fearful of the Climate Change Religionists and the Green New Deal lunatics—that the Biden Administration has undermined and damaged the U.S. oil and gas industry, including in Louisiana. 

During the 3 plus years of his Administration, Pres. Biden has shuttered and halted pipelines and closed off millions of acres in the U.S. to drilling.  The Department of the Interior cancelled oil and gas lease sales for over one million acres in Alaska’s Cook Inlet and also canceled two Gulf of Mexico leases, while generally making the leasing and permitting process significantly more difficult.

The fundamental question remains—knowing as we do that energy security is national security—why would our government ever choose to weaken domestic energy and, therefore, make our country more vulnerable to and dependent upon bad actors, including those who hate us and seek to harm us such as Venezuela, Iran, Russia, and China?

To the contrary, recall that in Pres. Trump’s last month in office, Jan. 2021, America was producing more oil than it was consuming for the first time in 50 years and was exporting energy to the EU.  The Trump Administration had made America energy independent, meaning we not only were providing for our own national energy needs but, in fact, had become a net exporter of energy to other nations, thereby making most of Western Europe far less dependent upon Russia for their energy.

But here we go again.

The Biden Administration has engaged in a permit freeze for new liquified natural gas (LNG) export projects by essentially rewriting the rules.  As noted by the Wall Street Journal “the Energy Department is required by law to approve permits to export LNG to countries with which the U.S. doesn’t have free-trade agreements if they are in the ‘public interest.’  The department has never rejected a permit.  But now the Administration plans to do so by redefining ‘public interest’ to include the potential impact on the climate.” (WSJ, 2-5-24).

And, although the Biden Administration is downplaying the number of permits and projects that would be affected, the truth is that “the Administration is deliberately creating uncertainty about permit approvals and extensions to chill investment and discourage foreign governments from signing long-term contracts.  Why risk investing in or signing a purchase agreement with a Gulf Coast project that may later be killed? Smarter to link up with the Qataris.” (WSJ, 2-5-24).

This permit freeze directly harms the U.S. economy given that “a single LNG export project will produce about $600 billion in revenue over its lifespan and create thousands of jobs, including in steel manufacturing and fracking—no government subsidies required.” (WSJ, 2-5-24).

Here in Louisiana, our Department of Economic Development (LED) proudly notes that “Louisiana boasts three of the nation’s seven LNG export terminals, with more facilities planned.  Louisiana also possesses nearly 50,000 miles of integrated pipelines that crisscross every major highway, railroad, and navigable waterway in the state.  Louisiana also holds 8% of the nation’s natural gas reserves.”  (LED website).

LED also estimates that the economic impact of LNG in Louisiana is 18,000 jobs, $4.4 billion contributed to statewide economic impact, and $178 million in state tax revenue.

This action by the Biden Administration is reckless and shortsighted.  When America’s allies think the U.S. cannot be relied upon for their natural gas needs, it forces them to negotiate with America’s enemies.   I also note that while the Climate Religionists are celebrating this “victory” from the Biden Administration, China is estimated to have built or is building 305 coal-fired power plants.  Those CO2 emissions are immeasurable, and nothing will stop it. 

We are not going to be able to be free of fossil fuels for decades if not generations.  Renewable energy sources can’t come anywhere near meeting America’s or the world’s energy needs right now. The folly and danger of this is that the Biden Administration is allowing America to be economically and strategically hamstrung when the rest of the world won’t cooperate with ending fossil fuels, but our friends and allies will know they can’t rely upon us.  

Also, beyond the climate insanity, a secondary motive of Biden’s LNG ban is rumored to be to punish Texas and Governor Gregg Abbott for standing up to the Biden Administration effort to cut down the razor wire that Abbott has placed on much of Texas’ border to stop the illegal alien invasion.

This must stop..

Shreveport attorney, Royal Alexander, worked in D.C. in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly 8 years for two different Members of Congress from Louisiana. 

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