In a significant move, the White House will delay a decision on whether to approve what would be the US’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal, according to the New York Times.
Three sources who spoke to the Times on condition of anonymity said the Biden administration is pausing approval for the controversial Calcasieu Pass 2 (CP2) LNG export terminal in Louisiana so that its impact on climate change, the economy, and national security can be considered. This is the first time climate change would be taken into consideration by the Department of Energy when considering whether an LNG export terminal was in the “public interest.”
The $10 billion CP2 would be far larger than other existing US LNG export terminals. It would be sited on a shipping channel that connects Lake Charles to the Gulf of Mexico and would export up to 20 million tons of natural gas annually. That would boost the volume of exported US gas by 20%.
The criteria used by the Department of Energy to evaluate CP2 would then be applied to the other 16 proposed natural gas terminals in the Gulf of Mexico awaiting approval, so the CP2 decision would have a domino effect. Scientist and leader of climate campaign group 350.org Bill McKibben posted on Twitter (X):
Roishetta Ozane, director of the environmental justice and disaster relief group the Vessel Project of Louisiana, said:
If the reporting is true and the Biden administration is announcing a pause, it would be a positive step towards fairness. It shows that the government recognizes the need to protect the rights and well-being of these communities.
This decision would send a strong message that we can no longer allow fossil fuel industries to operate without considering the health and safety of the people living in these areas.
The US is already the world’s largest LNG exporter.
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