The White House announced Friday that the Biden administration is putting a “temporary pause on pending decisions of Liquified Natural Gas exports.”

The move, said to be made in deference to “the impacts of LNG exports on energy costs, America’s energy security, and our environment,” immediately drew criticism from Texas officials.

Noting that Texas is the third largest exporter of LNG in the world, Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham posted, “This reckless move is nothing more than retaliation against Texas — for standing up to this administration over the border crisis.”

According to media reports, the Biden administration has been considering this pause on pending LNG exports for several days.

Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian wrote Wednesday to the Biden administration and U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm that “America becoming energy dominant again – like in 2019 – is the key to restoring global order, and that starts with a strong LNG export industry.” 

“I don’t know about President Biden, but I’d much rather have the world buy America’s clean natural gas over gas anywhere else,” said Christian. “LNG can be a beacon of hope, where many countries no longer produce their own fossil fuels due to the Net Zero agenda. Our energy strategy should be to increase production of our domestic fossil fuels and export that reliable energy to our allies across the globe.” 

“This pause on new LNG approvals sees the climate crisis for what it is: the existential threat of our time,” the White House contended. “While MAGA Republicans willfully deny the urgency of the climate crisis, condemning the American people to a dangerous future, my Administration will not be complacent. We will not cede to special interests.”

However, even Democrats have come out against the decision, with Texas State Rep. Eddie Morales (D-Eagle Pass) writing, “While I believe climate change is a pressing issue, we cannot hold ourselves back when our competitors are not willing to do the same despite their overwhelming contributions to global emissions.”

Texas Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick described the move by Biden as “Reckless. Irresponsible. Unacceptable.” She added that Russia and Qatar—exporters of LNG—are the ones being helped by Biden, “Not the environment. Not hard-working Americans. Not our allies.”

Multiple oil and gas associations wrote a letter to Granholm in the U.S. Department of Energy highlighting that fact. 

U.S. LNG blunted a potentially disastrous situation in 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Secretary Blinken emphasized that increased cargoes of U.S. LNG were critical to undercutting Vladimir Putin’s meddling in Europe. While our European allies have made significant strides in reducing their reliance on Russian natural gas thanks to American energy producers, Europe faces a considerable supply gap over the long-term that should be met by American energy, not hostile nations. Moving forward with a pause on U.S. LNG export approvals would only bolster Russian influence and undercut President Biden’s own commitment to supply our allies with reliable energy, undermining American credibility and threatening American jobs.  

“This administration has already extended a process that took seven weeks during the last administration to an 11-month process on average,” reads the letter signed by the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association, Texas Oil & Gas Association, Texas Pipeline Association, and the Permian Basin Petroleum Association. 

Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump responded to the move by the Biden administration stating:

Joe Biden has once again caved to the radical demands of the environmental extremists in his administration. This decision to block the approval of new facilities to export American natural gas is one more disastrous self-inflicted wound that will further undermine America’s economic and national security. 

“Biden’s decision to freeze LNG exports threatens Texas—and America,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. “This reckless decision is a gut punch to the hard-working men and women in the energy industry.”

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.