White House Blocks Natural Gas Projects

The White House denied a major natural gas project this week, sparking criticism of the Biden administration’s approach to energy. The White House and Department of Energy (DOE) announcement denied permits for several potential liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal proposals.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said that the administration must “review export applications using the most comprehensive up-to-date analysis of the economic, environmental and national security considerations.”

“This action includes a pause on pending applications for exports of U.S. natural gas as LNG to non-free trade agreement countries until the department can update the underlying analyses for authorizations,” she said.

The secretary said that the administration was “committed to affordable energy and economic opportunities for all Americans” and to strengthing the country’s energy security. However,

Granholm also said that the Biden White House was also committed to combating the effects of climate change “as we lead the world into a clean energy future.”

The administration did not announce which specific export terminal projects were being denied permits. However, the plan will affect projects undergoing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) approval process.

So far, there are 11 projects that have received FERC approval but have not started construction yet. There are four more projects that are under consideration by the regulatory body, but these would not be subject to the decision.

Last year the president caused the ire of environmental activists by approving an oil drilling project in Alaska. The Willow project was later upheld in a federal court, leading to the development of further traditional fuel sources.

The March decision was also criticized by Republicans, as Biden also denied several other proposals for fuel development in Alaska’s North Slope. Biden had promised to prevent new oil development projects on federal lands.

The original proposal from ConocoPhillips Alaska was for five drilling sites in Alaska but ultimately the Biden administration approved three. The project may produce up to 180,000 daily barrels of oil.

Environmentalists said that the project would release hundreds of millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions.