Briana Heaney Published

Senators: Liquefied Natural Gas Pause Hurting W.Va.

Man in suit stands at podium with blank look on face with other also in suit standing behind him
Senate President Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, held the Senate's first Press Conference of this legislative session.
Bryce Smith/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Senate President Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, and other members of the upper chamber held a press conference Thursday to discuss the recent pause on new permits for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports. 

LNG is a form of natural gas that has been distilled and frozen to around negative 260 degrees Fahrenheit. 

President Joe Biden announced a pause in new Liquefied Natural Gas permits after concern for its effect on climate change on Jan. 26. 

Blair held the press conference on the steps of the Senate, shortly after it adjourned. He and other senators said this pause will be harmful to the state’s energy economy. 

“That this president has taken in his administration is not hurting West Virginia but the entire world. It’s got to come to an end,” Blair said. 

On Jan. 12 the West Virginia Legislature passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 16 urging the United States Congress to enact reforms to federal permitting policies to accelerate deployment of new energy infrastructure.

“That resolution passed in the House and the Senate was calling on the federal government to stop what they’re doing here today, to the natural gas industry. The permitting process in this country takes way too long,” Blair said. 

Blair said West Virginia is one of 14 states in the southern legislative conference that is pushing back on the pause. 

The U.S. has in the past few years become the world’s leading liquefied natural gas exporter. It’s unclear how much of a role LNG plays in West Virginia’s energy economy.