LNG exports remain unbound. Time to shut down the permitting pipeline

Friday Feb 16 update – Sorry to report, the House has passed HR 7176 224-200 yesterday with 9 Democrats siding with every Republican to pass a bill that would reverse President Biden’s pause on LNG exports by giving sole authority over fossil fuel exports to FERC. We warned you last week that this vote was coming. Fortunately, a similar plan that we waned you about in the Senate to attach an amendment to military aid for Ukraine and other allies failed.

No matter how you look at it, this is bad news for our climate and communities. The House bill isn’t expected to get a vote in the Senate anytime soon. But combined with recent news from the Senate Energy Committee and FERC (see below) – it shows that a majority of the House, and a dangerous number of Senators, are opposed to Biden’s LNG pause. And that President Biden himself is not firmly committed to the policy – as he’s failed to speak out against Manchin’s FERC, nor has he promised to veto HR 7176.

On the other side of town, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) held their regular monthly “public” meeting. where, again – as expected FERC approved two new Liquefied natural Gas (LNG) export projects since President Biden announced a pause on all new LNG export licenses.

We had hoped, but not expected, that Biden’s decision to slow down fossil fuel permits at the Department of Energy (DOE) would be taken as a signal by FERC and other agencies to do the same. We had hoped that last week’s hearings on the LNG export pause, and the protests by brave activists willing to risk arrest, would dissuade Senator Manchin and others from further meddling in FERC’s affairs

Sadly, it appears that nothing — not Presidential orders, or US Senate Committee hearings, or courageous public debate — will stop FERC from rubber stamping fossil fuels. If we want to shut off the pipeline of permits that enable LNG exports and fossil fuel infrastructure of all kinds, we’re going to have to take action. If you’ve heard and seen enough and you’re ready to take action with us to turn off the flow of fossil fuel approvals in the weeks ahead: Sign up here.

If you’re not sure what’s been happening, read on for more information.

Last month, right before our planned sit in at the US Department of Energy, President Biden announced a pause on new LNG export licenses at the US DOE. It was a big and hard fought victory for frontline communities, our climate, and all of us who have been campaigning to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure.

We have been clear all along that the Biden Administration’s decision is limited and temporary. Only DOE export permits were covered by the pause. And only facilities that hadn’t already been approved would be delayed. Other agencies, including FERC, were free to go on considering and approving new permits for LNG export facilities – and all kinds of polluting fossil fuel infrastructure like pipelines and compressor stations too. 

Nonetheless, we hoped that the Biden Administration’s pause would lead to a real reduction in fossil fuel infrastructure permits, and a real change in approach from the Biden Administration. We hoped this was the beginning of an end to the era of fossil fuels.

Last week, about two dozen protestors snuck into the hearing and interrupted Manchin and his hand-picked fossil fuel witnesses (but not the DOE official who was there to defend and explain Biden’s LNG pause) while we delivered thousands of your comments and signatures via fax and email to Manchin and the committee. We also told you to stay tuned because there were more votes (like today’s) and decisions coming soon.

We also warned you that FERC was gearing up to approve two new LNG-export projects: Driftwood LNG – a big LNG export terminal in Louisiana, though not as big as CP2 – and the Saguaro pipeline – a 48 inch diameter  pipeline intended to connect US fracked gas to LNG export terminals on the West coast of Mexico

A day later Democratic FERC Commissioner Alison Clements announced she will leave FERC at the end of her term, and Willie Phillips was been named permanent chair of FERC. Senator Manchin was quick to praise both decisions, which is ony the latest sign that it is Manchin, and not President Biden or Chair Phillips, who calls the shots at FERC.

For an entire year we’ve been loudly telling people that this is now “Manchin’s FERC” and that that poses a threat to all our communities and to our common climate. And since the LNG export pause was announced, we’ve been warning that if FERC doesn’t change, along with the DOE, this pause will amount to nothing and Biden’s climate leadership will be as flimsy as the piece of paper it’s written on.

If FERC can’t be fixed, and Manchin can’t be removed from control, our only option is to shut FERC down. 

For years our friends at BXE have taken monthly action at FERC. It is clear that we need to step up those actions this spring, and BXE has asked for more comrades to join them in non-violent, direct action. Fill out this form to indicate you’re interested, and we’ll be in touch soon about next steps and details. 


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  2. Big OIL and Republicans are DANGEROUS to the well being of our Planet !! Get rid of the GREED money Mongers and save this place from the greedy people !! If they had all the money in the world, it still wouldn’t be enough !! You’re still gonna DIE !! Save the planet for the next generations !!

  3. Hte world needs to stop using so much fossil fuel.

  4. STOP STOP STOP IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Get rid of dirty oil!!!

  6. Stop trying to control the lives of others.
    Try becoming a kind honest person not making decisions from greed.

  7. Margaret Guilfoy Tyler

    My name is Margaret Guilfoy Tyler, Ph.D. I’m a Professor of Psychology living in St. Louis, MO. I’m calling to urge my Representative to vote NO HR7176 – the misleadingly named “Unlocking our Domestic LNG Potential Act.” This bill would be a massive giveaway to Big Oil and Gas CEOs by opening the floodgates for gas exports. LNG exports raise our energy costs, accelerate the climate crisis, and make our families sick. And this bill would strip away the federal government’s responsibility to examine the full impacts of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the economy, consumer energy costs, the climate, and local communities. President Biden was right to pause all new LNG export permits, pending a review of their impact on our climate and communities. I’m asking you not to meddle in the President’s good work, or the DOE’s impartial decision making, and vote NO on HR 7176.

  8. We are supposed to be defending us and the planet from Global Warming, not adding to it.

  9. Think of the future!

  10. Please stop thr nonsense and just pick a part and stay with it Joe Manchin! You can’t be on all sides all thr time!