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American natural gas is a win for climate, economy, and security


In a win for both American energy and climate policy, a federal court this week blocked the Biden administration’s pause on new permits for liquefied natural gas exports. It’s clear that unleashing cleaner, abundant energy, produced in the United States, will support global emissions reduction efforts while increasing energy security for us and our allies.

Reversing President Joe Biden’s unfounded political move effectively to ban the permitting of new LNG exports benefits not only our energy security but also the climate. The decision to halt these permits earlier this year was nothing more than an election-year tactic to appeal to young, climate-minded voters who are disillusioned with the administration’s perceived lack of action on climate change. Yet the reality is that energy made in America is cleaner than almost anywhere else, and that’s a fact we should champion loudly.

Indeed, the court’s green light for LNG export permits is a win for the climate, despite false claims made by out-of-touch climate activists that it is not. The truth is that switching from coal to natural gas has been the primary reason the U.S. has led to emissions reduction over the past couple of decades. LNG allows us to export this cleaner source of energy across the world to displace dirtier, foreign sources, which will actually reduce global emissions. Shutting down American LNG supplies does not mean global demand for this fossil fuel will fall; instead, it will simply increase reliance on dirtier sources, such as coal.

It’s important to note that the emissions intensity of coal used for energy in Europe and Asia is more than double that of American LNG. If American LNG replaced coal as a power source in countries in Europe and Asia, we could reduce emissions by up to 440 million tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of taking up to 397 million cars off the road. Additionally, according to a previous Department of Energy analysis, American LNG exports are up to 40% cleaner than the Russian alternative. It bears repeating that American energy is cleaner energy.

Not only that but innovations in the fossil fuel industry could continue to make this source of energy ever cleaner. Specifically, advancements in carbon capture and methane abatement could make American natural gas less emissions-intensive. In fact, between 2015 and 2022 methane emissions from oil and gas produced in the U.S. fell by 37%, while production increased by 40%. At the same time, the market for carbon capture and storage is growing and could reach nearly $12 billion by 2033, a significant increase from last year’s estimated $1.5 billion. Although carbon capture technologies currently only mitigate 0.4% of total U.S. emissions, that number is set to grow by a factor of seven to 3% in the near future.

Beyond the climate benefit of American LNG over dirtier energy sources offered abroad, LNG has also been an economic boon for the United States. We are now producing more natural gas than ever before, and slowing the export of this energy makes little economic sense, particularly considering the LNG market is expected to grow to nearly $200 billion by 2031. Not to mention that with our high environmental and safety standards, we are able to create economic opportunity in our country without causing irreparable harm. Moreover, the American energy industry offers good-quality, high-paying jobs that can sustain families and communities.

It doesn’t stop at climate and economic benefits either. American LNG also ensures national and global energy security. Relying on nefarious actors such as Russia and Iran puts us and our allies at the mercy of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The most obvious example of this was during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine when Putin cut natural gas supplies to Europe and the U.S. had to step in and supply 50% of the continent’s LNG imports.


It’s unsustainable to let our adversaries dominate global energy markets, and it’s bad climate policy. We must unleash American energy dominance with the expansion of all energy sources, including cleaner domestic natural gas, to ensure global energy security and make emissions reduction progress.

We need more common-sense energy and climate policy, not political moves meant to win votes in an election year. A strong energy policy considers energy that is clean, affordable, and reliable. Natural gas, and by extension LNG, will continue to play a role in our pursuit of a clean energy future, and the court’s move to halt Biden’s ban on new LNG export permits is a step in the right direction.

Chris Barnard is the president of the American Conservation Coalition, the largest conservative grassroots environmental organization in the country. Follow him on X @ChrisBarnardDL.

Continue Reading at The Washington Examiner.

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