Curtis Tate Published

Federal Court Lifts Biden Pause On LNG Export Terminal Permitting

Natural gas pipeline construction work. A dug trench in the ground
A natural gas pipeline under construction.

A federal judge has sided with West Virginia’s attorney general on new approvals for exporting liquefied natural gas.

In an ongoing policy debate between environmentalists and those who support fossil fuel production, the U.S. District Court in Western Louisiana lifted the Biden administration’s pause on new LNG export approvals Monday.

The policy – halting permits for new export terminals – was announced in January. Soon after, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined 15 other states seeking to lift the ban by claiming the White House doesn’t have the authority to enforce it.

“This administration’s Energy Department has no such authority to justify this ban – authority on matters like this lies with Congress and Congress alone,” Morrisey said in a statement.

West Virginia is a top producer of natural gas. Last year the United States was the top exporter of LNG – most of it headed for Europe and Asia.

Energy analysts say additional U.S. export terminals aren’t needed to supply those regions.

Five terminals are under construction and would double the nation’s current LNG export capacity – 12 billion cubic feet a day – by the end of the decade.