Official Defends Biden Admin Move on Natural Gas Exports Permits

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( – The Deputy Secretary of Energy, David Turk, stood by the Biden administration’s decision to temporarily halt new permits for certain natural gas export ventures amid a heated debate at a Senate hearing. During the session with the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Turk faced scrutiny from GOP Senators, who questioned the timing of the pause given global conflicts.

According to The Hill, Senator John Barrasso highlighted the ongoing war in Ukraine and tensions in the Middle East, questioning the prudence of potentially pushing allies and neutral countries towards adversaries by limiting energy exports. Turk countered by pointing to the significant growth in U.S. natural gas exports over recent years and emphasized the need to balance this with allies’ requirements.

Turk said that the environmental review associated with the pause would examine methane emissions from current operations and the broader implications of natural gas exports on climate goals. He noted the necessity of drastically reducing liquified natural gas exports to meet net-zero targets by 2050.

The decision to pause projects awaiting approval has faced strong opposition, including from Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, who accused the administration of acting prematurely without thorough consideration.

During a spirited exchange with Senator Angus King, who supported the administration’s stance, Manchin argued against the logic of implementing a pause before gathering all necessary data. King defended the pause, arguing that it was essential to ensure projects align with public interest and avoid potential future calamities from hasty approvals.

Manchin expressed concern that the pause might signal to the international community a potential withdrawal of the U.S. from the energy market, calling the decision “ill-advised.”

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