Biden climate adviser refuses to rule out possible permanent 'pause' on future liquified natural gas exports

 January 28, 2024

President Joe Biden, in his obsession with combating the ephemeral threat of "climate change," has once again taken action that will limit future domestic energy production, curtail future economic growth, cost future jobs for American workers, and starve allies of a product in high demand, among other things.

Biden on Friday announced a "pause" on pending approvals for future liquified natural gas (LNG) exports -- a "pause" that his top climate adviser later refused to confirm was only temporary and not a permanent decision, Breitbart reported.

The president faced immediate sharp criticism for the move, not just over the negative economic impact of the indeterminate pause on LNG export approvals but also on the transparently political nature and timing of the announcement, in that his move unquestionably appeases left-leaning environmental activists while simultaneously financially punishing energy-producing red states.

Biden pauses pending permit approvals for LNG exports

In a statement Friday morning, President Biden said, "My Administration is announcing today a temporary pause on pending decisions of Liquefied Natural Gas exports -- with the exception of unanticipated and immediate national security emergencies."

"During this period, we will take a hard look at the impacts of LNG exports on energy costs, America’s energy security, and our environment," he continued. "This pause on new LNG approvals sees the climate crisis for what it is: the existential threat of our time."

"While MAGA Republicans willfully deny the urgency of the climate crisis, condemning the American people to a dangerous future, my Administration will not be complacent. We will not cede to special interests," the president claimed.

Yet, Biden will do exactly that, as he added, "We will heed the calls of young people and frontline communities who are using their voices to demand action from those with the power to act. And as America has always done, we will turn crisis into opportunity -- creating clean energy jobs, improving quality of life, and building a more hopeful future for our children."

Doesn't rule out a future permanent halt for LNG exports

Coinciding with that announcement, White House National Climate Adviser Ali Zaidi appeared for an interview on NPR's "Morning Edition" and was asked directly by host A Martinez if the president's move came in response to the demands of climate activist groups for a "hard stop of new LNG export permits," as well as if it was in response to polls that showed climate activists believe Biden hasn't done enough to address the purported threat of climate change.

"This decision flows, I think, very clearly from the president's incredibly strong leadership on climate change, which has been front and center from Day 1," Zaidi replied as he launched into a list of prepared talking points about Biden's supposed accomplishments on the climate front.

He said, "So this is the next step in a presidency where the president very clearly, from Day 1, has been unafraid to follow the facts, dedicated to listening to the science and front line communities and has had, I think, a very strong commitment to taking climate action."

Martinez asked if that "next step" would ultimately lead to "eventually ending LNG exports," but Zaidi danced around that question with a non-answer that notably didn't rule out the possibility of a permanent end to the export of U.S.-produced LNG that is in incredibly high demand around the globe.

"Look, the Department of Energy is launching this process to study the economics, the environmental implications. We've had folks from U.S. manufacturing sector just in the last few days call for this sort of review to make sure we're thinking about the implications for costs and competitiveness here," Zaidi said. "There have been scientists over the last decade, five years ... who've called for increased scrutiny on the implications from a greenhouse gas perspective. So this is responsive to that, and we will follow the facts."

Dodging reporters' questions with non-answers

Climate Adviser Zaidi also took questions during Friday's White House press briefing and similarly dodged multiple questions about the timing and appearance of political motivations behind the LNG export approvals pause, and declined to give any indication of how long the pause and DOE review would last.

He also argued that the current U.S. LNG export capacity was more than sufficient to meet the "near-term" energy demands from allies, particularly in Europe, though he played coy and dismissive about the long-term impact of the halted plans for expansion in exports and how Russia would undoubtedly benefit economically by making up the difference between the restricted supply and unmet demand.

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