Kennedy, Cassidy say Biden plan to pause liquefied natural gas permits hurts US, Louisiana

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) are urging President Joe Biden to reconsider plans to pause permit approval for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals.

President Joe Biden said that climate change is an existential threat. His administration also wrote we must act urgently to protect the future generation.

Kennedy said in a Wall Street journal op-ed that he plans to “block all of President Biden’s nominees to the State Department and the Department of Energy stops until the administration stops this hostility towards LNG production.”

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U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has said previously that the move won’t have an immediate affect on supplies. It’s not expected to affect projects planned for the next few years but could halt or cancel some that are earlier in planning stages.

Michael Moncla, President of Louisiana Oil and Gas Association said this has a substantial impact on the local economy right here in Louisiana.

“This hurts jobs, and the community, businesses paying taxes and doing all the things that businesses do in communities. So, it’s not a good thing for the U.S. or Louisiana,” Moncla said.

Louisiana terminals account for more than 60% of U.S. LNG exports, according to a release from Kennedy’s office. LNG adds about $4 billion to the state’s economy and employs about 18,000 people.

“I’ll be back again and again to stop his nominees and remind the world that he’s intentionally killing jobs and threatening our national security to placate confused climate extremists,” said Kennedy.

“This is war on our allies,” said Cassidy. “They depend on us for their energy and economic security. For apparently political purposes, the Biden administration is deliberately postponing permitting. Putin must have designed this strategy.”

Cassidy, who sits on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and 25 other Republicans issued a letter to Biden and Granholm arguing against the move.

According to the letter, U.S. exports met the need when European imports of LNG increased by 60% following Russia invading Ukraine.

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“Without U.S. LNG exports, European leaders would have to decide between depriving their own citizens of energy or actively funding Russia’s war on Ukraine. Moreover, in December 2023, Russia exported LNG at record levels. Russia is also in the process of dramatically expanding its future LNG export capacity,” the letter reads.

Kennedy, the ranking member of the Energy and Water Subcommittee on Appropriations, also wrote his own letter to Granholm arguing that the world needs a robust supply of LNG. Without it, he said, developing nations will have a harder time with decarbonization strategies and buying American products.

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