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Lawmakers applaud DOE evaluation of how LNG exports impact climate

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Last week, several lawmakers, including Virginia Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan, applauded the Department of Energy for evaluating how liquefied natural gas exports impact consumers, the climate and vulnerable communities.

McClellan, who represents Virginia’s District 4, U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, and U.S. Reps. Jared Huffman of California, Raúl Grijalva Arizona, Nanette Barragán of California and Adriano Espaillat of New York led colleagues on a bicameral letter thanking President Joe Biden and DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm for pausing approvals of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.

The lawmakers urged the administration to develop meaningful economic and environmental tests to ensure that the DOE public interest determination criteria truly protect what is best for the public and climate.

“We believe the facts are clear: LNG exports harm U.S. households and industrial consumers,” the lawmakers wrote. “With our allies well-supplied by existing exports, we agree that now is the time to step back and examine the long-term impacts that additional U.S. LNG exports will have on American consumers, industries, and the environment.”

The lawmakers request specific changes to how the DOE evaluates new LNG projects, including:

  • A test for the effects that export approvals will have on U.S. consumers, particularly low-income households, whose energy burden is typically three times higher.

  • Evaluations of greenhouse gas emissions tied to the LNG supply chain against international and domestic climate targets and examined within the context of existing and proposed LNG export facilities. To do so, DOE should publish greenhouse gas emission estimates for each proposed project.

  • Ensuring that its public interest determinations follow the letter and spirit of President Biden’s Executive Order on Revitalizing our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All and account for cumulative impacts faced by frontline communities.

“This is an overdue opportunity to examine whether the LNG export boom creates value for the American people or, as we suspect, results in harm while primarily benefiting oil and gas companies that want to ship American LNG overseas for higher profits,” the lawmakers wrote.

McClellan joins climate activists praising Biden move to pause new LNG export projects – Augusta Free Press

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.