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GOP-Led House Delivers Blow to Biden’s Climate Agenda With Natural Gas Bill

House Republicans, Along with Some Democrats, Deal Major Blow to Biden’s Climate Change Agenda

The recent passage of the Unlocking Domestic LNG Potential Act by the House Republican majority, alongside support from some Democrats, marks a significant setback for President Joe Biden and his administration’s climate change agenda.

The legislation, approved in a 224-200 vote, received backing from nine Democrats and 215 Republicans, reflecting bipartisan concern over Biden’s decision to cancel liquefied natural gas (LNG) drilling projects, which critics argue weaken the country and compromise energy independence.

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Introduced by Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas), the bill aims to reverse Biden’s suspension of permits for new LNG export projects. Pfluger criticized Biden’s actions, accusing him of reneging on commitments made to supply Europe’s LNG needs and highlighting the detrimental impact of limiting U.S. LNG exports, particularly in bolstering adversarial regimes like Russia and Iran.

Amidst leading up to the 2024 election, surveys indicate that issues related to climate change rank lower among voters’ top concerns compared to economic worries, border security, and inflation. Pfluger underscored the importance of American LNG exports, emphasizing the environmental benefits of U.S. gas compared to Russian gas while condemning Biden’s moratorium on LNG exports as detrimental to environmental efforts.

If enacted, Pfluger’s legislation would amend the Natural Gas Act of 1938, granting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) exclusive authority over LNG export project permits.

The bill requires FERC to prioritize the public interest in approving or rejecting permits, aiming to safeguard American jobs and energy security against what House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) described as Biden’s Green New Deal agenda, which he argues threatens American jobs and energy independence.

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Meanwhile, a bipartisan coalition of House members is pushing for a provision in an appropriations bill to reverse Biden’s freeze on new LNG exports. Led by Rep. Carol Miller (R-W.Va.), the members highlight the importance of meeting LNG demand and preventing other countries like Russia from controlling energy markets. Their efforts aim to protect American jobs, support economic growth, and ensure energy security by promoting American LNG exports.

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