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Pushback Against LNG Pause Continues

Analysis by Energy Workforce President Tim Tarpley

LNG export
Energy Workforce President Tim Tarpley

The pushback against the administration’s LNG pause continues on the Hill this week. Last week EWTC led 41 members to the Hill and conducted multiple meetings to deliver the message as to the implications of the pause and heard bipartisan concerns about the policy. The Energy Workforce group heard from Administration officials that the review could last up to six months.   

This week, the House expects to take up H.R. 7176 Unlocking Our Domestic LNG Potential Act by Rep. August Pfluger (TX-11), which will remove the DOE “national interest” permit that is currently required for export facilities that are exporting to non-FTA countries. Removing DOE from the process would, in practice, mean that the current Administration pause would be null, and it would complication future efforts to pause exports. Energy workforce joined a handful of other energy trade associations in sending a joint letter to the House urging support for the legislation.

The legislation is expected to pass the House narrowly, likely picking up bipartisan support; however, its future in the Senate is unclear. At a hearing last week in Senate Energy Senator Manchin called the pause “unjustified” and said it should be reversed. Additionally, both Senator Fetterman and Senator Casey from Pennsylvania, both Democrats, said they did not agree with the President on the issue.  This bi-partisan opposition certainly signals that there may be support to end the pause in both chambers. However, finding a vehicle to attach such a rider on it that President Biden would be forced to sign is challenging.  The Senate border security package collapsed on the floor and finding bipartisan consensus on anything is challenging at this point in the pre-election cycle.

If an end to the pause actually does come to pass, it will likely not be because of actual legislation; as the chorus of Democrat opposition both in the House and Senate grows, I believe it is possible that the Administration decided to end the pause on their own without legislative action. Expressions of concern from allies abroad, especially in Europe, will also help push for an end.

Tim Tarpley, Energy Workforce President, analyzes federal policy for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.



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