Senate Dems Won’t Say Whether They Support Bill To Reverse Biden’s Pause On Gas Export Hubs

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Nick Pope Contributor
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Numerous Senate Democrats representing natural gas-producing states would not clarify whether they support a bill that would reverse the Biden administration’s pause on approving new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export hubs.

A group of Republican senators introduced the Unlocking Domestic LNG Potential Act after President Joe Biden announced in late January that the administration is pausing its approvals of new and pending proposals for LNG export terminals. The bill would effectively reverse that policy if it becomes law, but eight Democratic senators representing states that produce considerable quantities of natural gas did not answer the Daily Caller News Foundation’s questions as to whether or not they would cross the aisle to support the bill.

The legislation could put these Democrats in a bind as Biden, and some of the lawmakers themselves, prepare for reelection campaigns: supporting the bill may earn goodwill in their home states at Biden’s political expense, or vice versa. Similar legislation will soon be introduced in the House, and several moderate House Democrats have already expressed their disapproval of the natural gas export terminal pause, according to Bloomberg News.  (RELATED: Not A Single Senate Democrat Is Willing To Define What A Woman Is)

Unlocking Domestic LNG Potential Act by Nick Pope on Scribd

Democratic Pennsylvania Sens. John Fetterman and Bob Casey, who is up for reelection this fall, will both reportedly push Biden to change course on the approval moratorium, according to the Washington Examiner. However, neither lawmaker’s office responded to the DCNF’s questions as to whether they intend to support the bill or vote for it if it comes to the Senate floor.

In 2022, Pennsylvania produced about 20% of the country’s natural gas, making it the second-largest natural gas state in the U.S. behind only Texas, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Casey’s seat is potentially vulnerable in November.

The offices of Democratic New Mexico Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján did not respond to questions inquiring whether they would support the bill or vote for it. New Mexico produced enough natural gas in 2022 to place it within the top-seven states for natural gas output, according to EIA data.

Similarly, the offices of Democratic Colorado Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper did not respond to questions about their position on the legislation or whether they would do what they can to see it pass the legislature’s upper chamber. Colorado produced the eighth-most natural gas of any state in 2022, according to EIA data.

The office of Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, who is up for reelection this cycle and considered vulnerable by the Cook Political Report, also did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment about the bill. Ohio’s 2022 natural gas output was sufficient to put it within the top-seven of all states nationwide, according to EIA data.

Voters will decide in November whether to reelect John Tester, a vulnerable Democrat who has served three terms as the senior senator from Montana. Tester’s office told the DCNF that he is “reviewing the bill,” but did not elaborate any further. His office did not respond immediately to additional questions about whether he believes the underlying policy decision at the heart of the bill is a good idea.

Montana produced approximately 37.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas in 2022, according to EIA data.

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