On Fox Business, hosts are creating confusion about a recent White House decision regarding liquefied natural gas exports and misleadingly suggesting to viewers that the U.S. is no longer supplying allies abroad with the fuel.
On January 26, the Biden administration officially announced that it would pause the issuance of permits for new LNG export facilities in order to reevaluate the climate criteria that it uses to approve them. The pause would apply only to some exports destined for countries without U.S. free trade agreements.
In a February 5 segment of Fox Business’ The Bottom Line, hosts Sean Duffy and Dagen McDowell said the U.S. was “providing safety and security to our allies across the globe” as “the world’s number one supplier of LNG.”
“That’s finished now,” continued Duffy. “Instead, he’ll lead the U.S. and our allies straight into the arms of Vladimir Putin, to Russia, even Iran,” McDowell said, referring to President Joe Biden.
At the end of the segment, Duffy concluded, “Joe Biden is now shutting down the construction of the facilities so we can actually send liquefied natural gas around the world, especially to our allies.”
Duffy’s statement is far from true. In fact, during Biden’s presidency, the U.S. became the world’s largest LNG exporter. Concerned with the climate impacts of the major buildout, activists campaigned to pause authorizations for the Calcasieu Pass 2 project, which would be the largest facility yet.
While the campaign was successful, the pause on export approvals does not affect eight facilities currently in operation, nor does it affect over a dozen that have already been authorized or are under construction. Even with the pause, export capacity is set to nearly double by 2028.
Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the U.S. has supplied Europe with more natural gas in a bid to ease countries’ reliance on Russian energy. Now, Europe may face an oversupply as demand has declined.
As such, the European Commission has reassured lawmakers that the White House’s decision is unlikely to affect the supply of natural gas to Europe in the short to medium term. The European Union has already taken aggressive steps to move toward renewable energy to meet both its goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and a recently announced ambitious 2040 goal. In the longer term, these efforts could potentially leave LNG projects as stranded assets.