Biden gets sued again for natural gas export ban

 May 16, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Joe Biden, whose extreme "green" agenda has included his ban on the export of liquid natural gas, already has triggered a U.S. House plan to reverse his orders.

The proposal approved by the members of Congress would strip the power to approve such exports from the Department of Energy and leave the independent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as the sole authority.

Biden's controversial plan was part of his agenda to look at the "environmental and economic impacts" of the business, in which the U.S. is the largest LNG exporter in the world.

LNG is the cleanest of all the fossil fuel products that now power the United States, and, in fact, much of the world.

However, as of this week, there's a new wrinkle in Biden's green agenda: a lawsuit has been filed by Liberty Justice Center and Pelican Institute for Public Policy over his anti-LNG campaign.

"Nothing in the Natural Gas Act grants any federal officer, even the president, the authority to halt the approval process, and yet the Biden administration has tried just that," said Loren Seehase, counsel at the Liberty Justice Center. "The administration will continue to disregard the Constitution and federal law until a court upholds the rule of law—and our lawsuit aims to make sure the court will."

The organizations reported that since 1938, a federal law titled the Natural Gas Act has regulated the approval of LNG exportation. This legislation presumes that LNG export applications are almost always in the public interest, and therefore requires the secretary of the Department of Energy to approve the applications unless the department makes specific findings showing that an individual application is not in the public’s interest.

"Nothing in the Natural Gas Act authorizes the Department of Energy to halt all LNG export applications. For that reason, as recently as July of 2023, the Department of Energy denied a petition calling for a halt to the approval of all new LNG export licenses. In its rejection, the department stated that it had 'no factual or legal basis' for 'halt[ing] approval of pending applications to export LNG,'" they reported.

Then Biden, in January, simply declared a ban, "effective immediately and indefinitely."

The lawsuit charges that the ban violates federal law as well as the Constitution's separation of powers and exceeds Biden's authority.

It also hurts the nation's economy, it charges.

Previously, 16 states joined to file a lawsuit through their attorneys general over the same issues.

"This export ban is unconstitutional and indefensible. In addition to the harm it will do to the economy and to tens of thousands of working Americans across the country, it also disregards federal law, flouts the standard rule-making procedure, and threatens our constitutional structure," said James Baehr, counsel at the Pelican Institute for Public Policy.

"Tens of thousands of hardworking oil and gas workers across the country depend on the LNG export industry to put food on the table for their families," said plaintiff Matt Coday, president of the Oil & Gas Workers Association. "This ban will have devastating consequences on their lives and livelihoods unless the court steps in to put an end to the administration’s overreach."

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