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16 States Sue Federal Government Over LNG Permitting Pause

16 states are suing the federal government for the decision to “pause” new LNG export capacity permitting.

The plaintiffs, all Republican-led, include Texas and Louisiana, as well as Florida, claim that the suspension of new LNG export permits would affect the U.S. economy negatively and interfere with the supply of gas to allies in Europe that are trying to quit Russian gas.

The states also argued that the decision to halt permitting puts billions of dollars in investments in jeopardy, Reuters noted in a report on the news.

“The ban will drive billions of dollars in investment away from Texas, hinder our ability to maximize revenue for public schools, force Texas producers to flare excess natural gas instead of taking it to market, and annihilate critical jobs,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement.

Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill said that the pause on LNG permits would “disrupt the development and production of natural gas and gives us no choice but to turn to the courts to enforce the law.”

President Biden effected what the White House called a pause on new LNG export capacity permits in late January under pressure from climate activists. Those claimed that LNG is even worse for the environment than coal and any new export capacity will aggravate what they see as an already grave situation with the earth’s climate.

The news of the review did not put activists at ease, however. On the contrary, the attack continued, with calls for an end to the LNG industry because of its polluting impact on coastal communities in Louisiana, according to those same communities, and because it’s bad for the global climate, according to other activists, among them both the author of the study and several prominent green organizations.

The energy industry meanwhile cried foul, with seven organizations led by the American Petroleum Institute filing a petition with the Department of Energy saying that the permit suspension violated the department’s mandate to permit capacity expansion in the absence of clear evidence that this would go against the public interest.

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By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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