Biden Slows the LNG Boom

Joe passes a big climate test after fracking the previous ones


“This pause on new LNG approvals sees the climate crisis for what it is: the existential threat of our time.” —President Joe Biden

Responding to climate activists, President Joe Biden has called a stop to greenlighting liquefied natural gas export projects. His announcement this morning puts a halt to more than 20 projects in the pipeline, the largest of which is the proposed Calcasieu Pass 2 (CP2) export terminal in southwest Louisiana—though not the five already under construction. The decision was leaked like methane from the many fracked-gas pipelines running through the Permian Basin on Wednesday, but only made official today.

Biden used vivid language to explain why climate pollution needs to stop:

“In every corner of the country and the world, people are suffering the devastating toll of climate change. Historic hurricanes and floods wiping out homes, businesses, and houses of worship. Wildfires destroying whole neighborhoods and forcing families to leave their communities behind. Record temperatures affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans, especially the most vulnerable.”

“While MAGA Republicans willfully deny the urgency of the climate crisis, condemning the American people to a dangerous future,” Biden said in clear campaign mode, “my Administration will not be complacent. We will not cede to special interests.”

He went on to credit the pressure from climate activists for the decision:

“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.”

As Bill McKibben wrote, “Um, I think we all just won.”

McKibben and many others have been raising the alarm about the LNG boom. McKibben cites many of the frontline activists in Cancer Alley who have been fighting the LNG projects destroying their communities—such as Roishetta Ozane, James Hiatt, John Beard, Melanie Oldham, Gwen Jones, Travis Dardar, and Ann Rolfes.

One of the “young people” is TikToker Alex Haraus, who has relentlessly driven sign-ups to, a petition and organizing site from Jamie Henn’s Fossil Free Media.

The StopLNG campaigners were threatening a sit-in of the Department of Energy February 6th through 8th, with campaigners from the Gulf Coast as well as long-time climate leaders Jane Fonda, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Winona LaDuke, Rebecca Solnit, Gus Speth, and the next generation such as Varshini Prakash and Alexandra Villaseñor.

“It’s long past time for us to recognize that the public interest does not include polluters,” Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said in celebration of Biden’s decision today. He and other climate hawks like Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) have been leading the fight on Capitol Hill for climate and environmental justice to be part of LNG permit decisions.

This move would amount to a functional ban on new LNG export permits,” Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, celebrating the “climate test” on the Senate floor on Wednesday. He then suffered a brain malfunction, causing him to say that limiting LNG exports would increase domestic natural gas prices, the logical opposite of reality. His complaints only made sense when his claimed concern for fossil-fuel consumers is translated as concern for the profits of fossil-fuel producers.

Don’t worry, though, the climate polluters are still rolling in dirty cash, hitting new records in production in 2023.

As the White House notes, “The U.S. is already the number one exporter of LNG worldwide – with U.S. LNG exports expected to double by the end of this decade.” And U.S. LNG exports were zero until President Barack Obama opened the floodgates during his second term. There’s already enough LNG export infrastructure built and approved to doom our climate, and there’s a lot more on the way.

Under the Biden administration, the LNG export boom has been overseen by Biden’s global methane czar Amos “Darwin Mayflower” Hochstein, a former methane executive with the official title Special Presidential Coordinator for Global Infrastructure and Energy Security; White House official Sarah Ladislaw, a former Statoil lobbyist who is now Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Climate and Energy at the US National Security Council; and oil lobbyist Tommy Beaudreau, the deputy secretary of the Department of Interior who resigned last fall after signing off on the Willow Project.

So today’s decision, coming from the John Podesta / Ali Zaidi side of the White House, is great, but we’re still pretty well fracked.

CAMPAIGN SEASON! As president of the National Wildlife Federation, former Young Republican For John McCain Collin O’Mara dismantled his predecessor Larry Schweiger’s progressive leadership on climate, steering the giant organization towards hydrogen boondoggles, business-friendly policy advocacy, and appeasement of Republican climate deniers—or, as Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) put it, “the Delaware way.”1 O’Mara is now hoping to become governor of Delaware, building a campaign war chest with $750,000 of his own money.

The race to succeed Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is heating up, with the first debate on Monday. Rep. Katie Porter (D-Costa Mesa) went after Rep. Adam Schiff (D-San Gabriel Valley) for taking corporate PAC contributions, particularly oil money:

“Rep. Schiff may have prosecuted oil companies before he came to Congress. But when he got to Congress, he cashed checks from companies like BP, from fossil fuel companies.”

But she and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) also questioned Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to phase out the sales of gasoline-powered cars by 2035. Lee cautioned:

“I do support this transitioning to electric vehicles, but — there’s always a but — you have 20 million people in California living one paycheck away from poverty, who may not be able to afford this.”

Porter signed on to the premise that California is tethered to cars:

“We need to recognize the need for people to have assistance and help in transitioning to green energy. Cars are expensive. New cars are a lot of money.”

The Trump White House ran on Ambien and Provigil.

New Jersey just approved 3.7 gigawatts of offshore wind.

Missouri landowners, fueled by climate denial, try to block mega-transmission lines.

Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson is not okay, but then again, there’s no way to win the game of hoarding everything.

The hoarders are celebrating their latest wealth accumulations with mass firings, including the brilliant climate and tech reporter Brian Merchant, who received a congratulations-you’re-fired certificate from the Los Angeles Times billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong.

At least Win McCormick, the Mother Jones co-founder and current New Republic publisher, isn’t hoarding all his money.

Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word. The transition to a new platform is going slower than I’d like, but I promise it is happening! E-mail if you want the gory details. If you’ve got job listings, event listings, or other hot news, I want to hear it. Connect with me—@[email protected], @climatebrad on Threads, and on BlueSky.

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1 Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) officiated O’Mara’s wedding to Krish Vignarajah, who ran for governor of Maryland in 2018.

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