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Why the Biden Administration’s Shift on Gas Exports is a Big Deal

What just happened: The Biden administration announced it will rethink how it decides whether gas export projects are in the public interest. This shift halts Calcasieu Pass 2 (CP2) and at least 13 other pending facilities. CP2 alone would produce emissions equivalent to more than 47 new coal-fired power plants.

Why it matters: Earthjustice, frontline communities, and many other environmental advocates have been urging the Biden administration to do exactly this. For too long, government has rubber-stamped export projects without fully considering how they impact the climate crisis, communities, and the economy. This change signals that the White House is willing to build on its landmark efforts to expand clean energy by moving away from approving new fossil fuel projects that undermine climate progress.

Read on to learn more and lend your support:

A step back from environmental catastrophe

  • What are LNG exports? Gas that is produced in the U.S. and super cooled into a liquid (“liquified natural gas,” or LNG) in massive industrial facilities to be shipped in huge tanker ships to Asia, Europe, and other destinations.
  • An export boom: U.S. gas exports hit a record high in the first half of 2023, entrenching our position as the largest exporter globally.
  • Time for a change: At a moment when the U.S. must urgently transition to clean energy, the buildout of gas export infrastructure threatens to keep us locked into decades of fossil fuel use and climate-warming emissions.
  • Unfathomable emissions: The CP2 project alone could produce 20 times the annual carbon emissions of the Willow drilling project in Alaska.
  • Frontline communities pay the price: Most export facilities are proposed in communities of color and low-income communities that are already bearing the brunt of fossil fuel pollution. Now they are facing even more harm from the construction and operation of new LNG export facilities and the effects of climate change.

A win for U.S. households

  • Lower bills: Exporting gas drives up home heating and energy prices for the U.S. These effects can trickle down to other essential goods, such as food and fertilizer.  The government must consider how approving more gas exports impacts U.S. consumers already struggling with inflation.
  • Europe doesn’t need more of our gas: The fossil fuel industry is making false claims about the need for more gas exports to meet demand in Europe to offset Russian gas. But the truth is that Europe’s energy reserves have recovered and its gas storage is almost completely full. Europe is rapidly switching to clean energy and more U.S. gas exports would only serve to lock in decades of fossil fuel pollution.

This administration is listening. Add your voice.

  • A moment to celebrate: The Biden administration’s plan to reconsider how it determines whether LNG export projects are in the public interest is a major step in the right direction.
  • Responding to advocacy: In December, more than 230 climate, environmental justice, public health, faith, and community organizations signed on to a letter urging the Biden administration to reject CP2 and rethink how it evaluates proposals for gas export terminals.
  • Looking ahead: Earthjustice will continue challenging LNG projects like CP2, and we look forward to working with the Biden administration to make sure it fully considers the environmental and economic risks of approving more gas exports.

Join us in thanking the White House and telling the federal government it’s past time to stop greenlighting fossil fuel industry expansion.

A large liquified natural gas transport ship sits docked in the Calcasieu River on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, near Cameron, Louisiana.
A large liquified natural gas transport ship sits docked in the Calcasieu River on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, near Cameron, Louisiana. (Jon Shapley / Houston Chronicle via Getty Images)