US lawmakers argue that restricting LNG exports poses a threat to national security.

A bipartisan group of nearly two dozen lawmakers has cautioned President Joe Biden that the recent decision to restrict the export of US Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) jeopardizes the nation’s security, economy, and clean energy objectives. With impending European Union sanctions anticipated to halt all Russian gas imports, the imperative to compensate for lost supplies is magnified. In a letter to Biden dated February 5, Congresswoman Carol Miller and her co-chairs from the Energy Export Caucus conveyed their apprehensions regarding the Administration’s move to limit LNG exports. They underscored how this decision, proposed by the Department of Energy, imperils national security, economic stability, and clean energy aspirations.

A paramount concern arising from curtailed LNG exports is its impact on national security. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has underscored Europe’s worrying dependence on Russian gas. Despite Europe’s commitment to reduce this reliance by the end of the decade, Russian gas accounted for over 40% of the European Union’s gas supply in 2021. The lawmakers commended Biden’s pledge in March 2022 to aid Europe in diversifying away from Russian gas by supplying an additional 50 billion cubic meters (bcm) of US LNG through 2030.

The lawmakers emphasized that LNG exports are not only crucial for supporting allies abroad but also vital for the domestic economy. US LNG exports achieved a record high in 2023, solidifying the nation’s position as the leading global exporter. This expanded market facilitates the creation of high-paying jobs, reduces the trade deficit, and strengthens the domestic economy. The US natural gas industry sustains over 10 million jobs, directly and indirectly generating employment opportunities.

Moreover, maintaining US leadership in LNG exports contributes to global emission reduction objectives. While methane emissions in the United States are regulated and declining, Russia’s natural gas infrastructure is antiquated, poorly regulated, and prone to leaks. The lawmakers stressed that bolstering US LNG production and exports aligns with the administration’s commitment to addressing climate change goals effectively.

In summary, the lawmakers urged the Biden administration to reconsider its decision to limit LNG exports, emphasizing its far-reaching implications for national security, economic prosperity, and environmental sustainability.

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