McMorris Rodgers, 150+ Republicans seek reversal of Biden’s LNG export decision

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) on Sunday led more than 150 of her GOP colleagues in urging President Joe Biden to reverse his recent decision to stop exports of American natural gas and halt construction of new liquified natural gas (LNG) export facilities.

The White House on Jan. 26 announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will stop issuing permits to export LNG while the Biden administration conducts an additional public interest review, including environmental, economic, and environmental justice criteria. 

The decision, say the Republicans, is economically and strategically dangerous and unnecessary because it will strengthen China, make the United States more reliant on foreign oil and gas, and weaken America’s economy.

“Under both Democratic and Republican administrations, DOE has consistently found that U.S. LNG exports serve the public interest because they contribute positive economic benefits and strengthen energy security for the American people, and also have the potential to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” the members wrote in a Feb. 4 letter sent to Biden. 

Among the lawmakers who joined U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair McMorris Rodgers in signing the letter were U.S. Reps. Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Steve Womack (R-AR), and Larry Bucshon (R-IN).

“We must encourage and support American energy production, not saddle our energy producers with red tape and uncertainty that will result in higher energy prices for American families,” said Rep. Feenstra in a separate statement. “This action also underscores the urgent need to pass the Lower Energy Costs Act [H.R. 1] — which I voted for last March — to end President Biden’s attacks on American energy production, lower gas prices for our families, and make our country energy independent again.”

According to the Republicans’ letter, the president’s actions to slow or halt LNG exports also could weaken global energy security, put such strategic markets at risk, and undercut efforts the U.S. has made to help Europe reduce its reliance on Russian energy.

“Such actions would also interfere with domestic markets for natural gas, jeopardizing the stability and affordability of prices for American consumers,” wrote Rep. McMorris Rodgers and her colleagues.

They called on the administration to “do everything it can” to encourage greater production of clean-burning and reliable natural gas, and to grant the export permits that allow access to global markets.

“Policies supporting LNG exports will grow our economy, create good paying jobs, and strengthen the energy security of our allies,” they wrote. “We urge you to end this unnecessary review and expeditiously approve all pending applications to increase the global supply of natural gas.”