Saturday, July 13, 2024

Biden’s LNG Ban Faces Criticism Amid Impact on Ukraine Energy Deal

by BIZ Magazine

La. Attorney General Calls Ban ‘Unlawful’

Baton Rouge, LA – President Biden’s moratorium on new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export permits is drawing sharp criticism for its implications on an international energy deal crucial to Ukraine amidst its ongoing conflict with Russia. Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill has labeled the ban as “unlawful,” citing its potential to disrupt a significant LNG agreement between Ukraine and Virginia-based Venture Global.

The deal, which involves Venture Global’s Plaquemines facility in Louisiana, aims to supply Ukraine with up to two million metric tons of LNG annually. This transaction is expected to support Ukraine’s energy needs and inject millions of dollars into the U.S. economy. However, the deal now faces jeopardy due to the Biden administration’s “pause” on new LNG export permits to countries lacking a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S., which includes Ukraine.

The Wall Street Journal has highlighted the global risks posed by this ban, emphasizing its strategic importance to Ukraine. The restriction has prompted a legal response led by Attorney General Murrill, who spearheaded a coalition of 16 states filing a lawsuit against President Biden and the U.S. Department of Energy. The coalition argues that lifting the ban is essential for meeting global energy demands and reducing reliance on supplies from adversarial regions such as Russia, the Middle East, and China.

“Joe Biden’s assault on American energy threatens Louisiana and democracy itself worldwide. It creates international instability and hurts developing democracies like Ukraine,” said Murrill. “Joe Biden has repeatedly stated that he stands with Ukraine, but this LNG ban directly contradicts his empty statements. He has emboldened Russia in its quest to defeat Ukraine. This ban has been unlawful since the beginning, and now we’re seeing the direct result these disastrous environmental policies.”

Murrill contends that the Biden administration’s environmental policies compromise U.S. energy security and inadvertently strengthen geopolitical rivals. The coalition’s lawsuit aims to overturn the permitting freeze, enabling the resumption of LNG exports to Ukraine and other non-Free Trade Agreement countries.

Last week, the Louisiana Department of Justice presented their case to lift the LNG export ban before U.S. District Court Judge James Cain. The coalition, consisting of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming, awaits a judicial decision that could significantly influence U.S. energy policy and international relations.

For now, the outcome of this legal challenge remains uncertain, with far-reaching implications for the U.S. energy sector and global energy markets, particularly for nations like Ukraine that are seeking alternatives to Russian energy supplies amidst ongoing geopolitical tensions.

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