Politics

GOP-Led House Delivers Blow to Biden’s Climate Agenda With Natural Gas Bill

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


The House Republican majority, along with some Democrats, have passed legislation that deals a significant blow to President Joe Biden and his administration regarding their climate change agenda.

The House passed the Unlocking Domestic LNG Potential Act in a 224-200 vote, as nine Democrats voted with 215 Republicans in support of the legislation.

The measure’s approval comes on the heels of Biden canceling liquified natural gas drilling projects that Republicans say make the country weaker and deprive the government of income as well as energy independence.

Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, chairman of the House Energy Action Team, introduced the legislation on Feb. 1. The legislation aims to reverse Biden’s recent actions, which temporarily halted permits for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects.

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“Just last year, President Biden told the Europeans that they needed to get off Russian gas and that the U.S. would supply their liquid natural gas needs. Now that it is an election year, he is reneging on that deal to appease his radical climate base,” Pfluger told Fox News Digital ahead of the vote.

“Two-thirds of the world’s natural gas is produced in four countries: Russia, Iran, the United States, and Qatar. This effective ban on U.S. LNG exports is a gift to Putin and the Iranian regime that just killed three service members with their weapons to the Houthis,” the Texas lawmaker continued. “I am proud to stand up for American jobs when the president seems to only stand up for the interests of Russia and Iran.”

Recent issue-related surveys leading up to the 2024 election indicate that “climate change” and “the climate” rank considerably lower on the list of top concerns. Instead, economic worries, the tumultuous situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, and inflation are among the prominent concerns.

Pfluger pointed out that Russian natural gas is 40 percent dirtier than U.S. gas while criticizing Biden’s recent moratorium on LNG exports, describing it as a “horrible decision for the environment.”

Fox News added:

If enacted, Pfluger’s bill would amend the Natural Gas Act of 1938, giving the independent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) exclusive authority to approve or deny applications for the siting, construction, expansion or operation of LNG export projects. 

And in approving or rejecting permits, FERC would be required under the bill to “deem the importation or exportation of natural gas to be consistent with the public interest.”

“Joe Biden would rather appease the radical environmentalists in his party than protect hardworking Americans. House Republicans will not stand idly by while the Biden administration’s Green New Deal agenda destroys American jobs, stifles American energy, and benefits our adversaries,” House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., told Fox News Digital in a statement.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan coalition of House members is calling for a provision in an annual appropriations bill that would reverse the Biden administration’s freeze on new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, The Hill reported on Friday.

In a letter spearheaded by Rep. Carol Miller (R-W.Va.), seven members urged congressional leaders to include language in the energy and water appropriations bill for fiscal 2024 that would limit the use of appropriated funds to modify existing permitting standards for LNG exports.

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The members highlighted the rise in LNG exports from the U.S. subsequent to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the consequent disruption to European energy supplies.

“The U.S. natural gas industry supports more than 10 million American jobs and supported nearly $1.8 trillion in U.S. gross domestic product in 2021,” they wrote. “The Department of Energy has also confirmed that American LNG is up to 30% cleaner than Russian natural gas, and if we do not fulfill the demand for LNG and let other countries like Russia control the markets, emissions will continue to rise.”

In addition to Miller, the letter is signed by Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas), Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Michael Cloud (R-Texas), and Mary Peltola (D-Alaska).

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