Judge: Biden can’t pause consideration of LNG projects while challenge plays out


The Biden administration can’t delay consideration of projects aimed at exporting liquefied natural gas while a legal challenge by 16 Republican-led states plays out in federal court, a Louisiana judge said last week.

The Associated Press reports that U.S. District Judge James Cain, Jr. sided with the states, granting a preliminary injunction that puts the Biden administration’s delay on hold.

It was unlikely, however, that any of the projects would be on a fast track for consideration as the U.S. Department of Energy said late Monday that it disagreed with the court’s ruling and was evaluating its next steps. The White House also voiced disappointment.

“We remain committed to informing our decisions with the best available economic and environmental analysis, underpinned by sound science,” White House spokesperson Angelo Fernández Hernández said in an email to The Associated Press.

President Joe Biden in January decided his administration would delay consideration of new natural gas export terminals in the US, even as gas shipments to Europe and Asia soared following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The move aligned the Democrat with environmentalists who fear an increase in exports—in the form of liquefied natural gas, or LNG—is locking in potentially catastrophic planet-warming emissions.

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