Curtis Tate Published

Capito Bill Would Overturn Biden’s Pause On LNG Export Approvals

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, dressed in a gray blazer, speaks to a group of women in the West Virginia Legislature.Will Price/West Virginia Legislative Photography

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito has a bill that would undo the Biden administration’s pause on approving new export terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Capito introduced the Natural Gas Export Expansion Act a year ago.

Last month, the U.S. Energy Department said it would stop considering new applications for LNG export terminals to countries with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement.

Capito opposes the policy but said it would be difficult to get her bill past the Democrats in the Senate, as well as President Joe Biden.

“So we’ll keep pushing the legislation, but the realities are as much as I’d like to see it, as a political reality, it would be very tough,” she said.

An Energy Department official testified in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Thursday that LNG exports to U.S. allies would continue and already permitted export terminals would still get built.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., the chairman of the energy committee, wants the Biden administration to reverse the pause on new approvals.

The Energy Department projects that even with the pause, U.S. LNG exports will double by 2030.

According to a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis Thursday, LNG demand is projected to decline in Europe and Asia.

Instead, the report said, the biggest buyers of additional LNG exports will be oil and gas companies and commodities traders.