Biden Admin May Have Just Punted Key Energy Decision Until After The Election

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Nick Pope Contributor
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The Biden administration is delaying a key decision on liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities, potentially waiting until after the upcoming presidential election to make a final determination, according to The New York Times.

The White House has reportedly instructed the Department of Energy (DOE) to widen the scope of its evaluation of natural gas terminal proposals, including the Calcasieu Pass 2 (CP2) project in Louisiana, to include impacts on climate change, the economy and national security, according to the NYT, which cited three anonymous sources with knowledge of the decision. The White House’s move could allow the Biden administration to wait until after November’s presidential election to decide the fate of CP2 and new natural gas export facilities.

The changes to evaluation criteria for LNG export terminals reportedly under consideration could derail the construction of key facilities like CP2, according to the NYT.

Several key players in the administration’s climate agenda reportedly met earlier in January to discuss what to do about the criteria for approving natural gas export facilities. The environmental lobby is pushing the administration to scrap CP2 and other LNG export terminals, but American LNG has also been instrumental in helping Europe meet demand after the start of the Ukraine war, according to Fortune. (RELATED: White House Rewards Eco-Activists That Harassed Biden Admin Officials, Dems For Months With Podesta Meeting)

American LNG exports have been on a steady rise since July 2020, reaching a record high in October 2023, the most recent month on record with the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

While pressure from allies may be strong, young voters and environmental activists are poised to be key constituencies for Biden and fellow Democrats as the 2024 election draws closer on the calendar. A decision to green light CP2 and other similar projects is likely to draw the ire of green voters and activists, an outcome which could possibly deliver a major blow to President Joe Biden’s reelection chances given the bevy of unfavorable polls currently swirling around him.

Former President Barack Obama and his team ultimately waited to kill the Keystone XL pipeline until 2015, well after they had secured a second term and would not have to seek re-election again.

Neither the White House nor the DOE responded immediately to requests for comment.

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