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Biden Administration Under Pressure Over Louisiana LNG Project

The Biden administration faces a tough decision on whether to approve Venture Global’s new Louisiana LNG export project, CP2.
Environmentalists argue it undermines U.S. climate goals, while business interests claim it’s vital for global energy security.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Role

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will vote on the CP2 project soon.
FERC, an independent body within the Department of Energy, has already granted CP2 final environmental approval.

CP2’s Projected Capacity

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If built, CP2 will be double the size of Venture Global’s current CP plant.
It’s designed to have an annual export capacity of 20 million metric tonnes of liquefied natural gas.

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FERC’s Approval Criteria

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U.S. energy law mandates FERC to approve LNG projects unless they’re not in the “public interest.”
However, FERC isn’t required to consider climate implications in its decisions.

Additional Approvals Required

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CP2 also needs the Department of Energy’s approval to export LNG to countries without a U.S. free trade agreement.
This includes nations in Europe and Asia, key regions in global energy politics.

Biden Administration’s Review Plans

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The Biden administration is considering a more stringent review of LNG export permits, focusing on the impacts of climate change.
There’s talk of a possible permit moratorium until this environmental review is complete.

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Politico’s Report on Review

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Politico first reported on the administration’s review process.
Neither the White House nor the Department of Energy has commented on these developments.

Environmentalist Opposition

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Environmentalists like Bill McKibben, who opposed the Keystone XL pipeline, view CP2’s approval as a significant mistake.
They argue it would release more greenhouse gases than recently approved major projects.

Protests and Lawsuits

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Environmental activists are planning protests at the Department of Energy, and some have filed lawsuits against recent project approvals.
These groups are rallying online with campaigns against CP2.

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Business Pressure for Approval

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Business groups in Asia and Europe urge the U.S. to approve LNG projects.
They argue that LNG helps transition from coal and express concerns about the U.S.’s commitment to maintaining supply.

Eurogas’s Appeal to the U.S.

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Eurogas, representing 77 companies and associations, has appealed to the U.S. to avoid restricting LNG exports to Europe.
This is especially pertinent as Europe seeks to reduce gas imports from Russia due to the Ukraine conflict.

Election Year Complications

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Consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group predicts the Biden administration will unlikely issue new export licenses before the elections.
This hesitation is attributed to environmentalist and Democratic lawmaker pressure.

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