Op eds

This op-ed by Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) first appeared in the Wall Street Journal on January 29, 2024.

The Biden administration has announced a pause on every new and pending permit for liquefied natural gas export terminals in the U.S., including several in Louisiana.

The White House claims this is necessary because the Energy Department based its permit reviews on five-year-old data. Here’s the truth: Climate warriors want President Biden to destroy America’s fossil-fuel industry, but he doesn’t want to pull the trigger himself. By withholding permits, the president can scare away investors, bleed these projects of capital, and claim to have clean hands if the terminals close.

Any way you look at it, Mr. Biden’s blockade is bad for America. Consider the Calcasieu Pass 2 export terminal in Cameron Parish, La. Once completed, it will be the country’s largest terminal. Nixing its permit would jeopardize $20 billion in investments for U.S. industry and kill thousands of good jobs in my state.

There is no environmental justification for killing these jobs. Natural gas is the reason America leads the world in carbon-emission reductions. From 2005 through 2019 natural gas drove a 32% reduction in American carbon emissions while creating 1.4 million manufacturing jobs and ensuring that families paid half as much to heat their homes. Apparently, whichever TikTok influencer convinced the Biden administration to ban LNG permits forgot to mention that side of the natural-gas ledger.

Natural gas is also a key to several of the Biden administration’s other environmental pet projects. Electric cars? They plug into an electrical grid powered by natural gas. Wind turbines and solar panels? Natural gas provides a reliable backstop so folks don’t face blackouts when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. That’s why the European Commission recognizes natural gas as a sustainable energy source.

Americans will suffer because of Mr. Biden’s attack on natural gas, and so will our allies. When war broke out in Ukraine, the president promised our friends in Europe and elsewhere that they could depend on the U.S. to keep natural gas flowing. Unless his administration plans to run a pipeline through the mid-Atlantic ridge, liquefying natural gas and transporting it on tankers is the only way Washington can fulfill its promises. Our allies shouldn’t have to rely on Russia, Iran and China to keep the lights on.

In a recent letter, I warned Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm that her proposed pause on LNG export permits is an unjustifiably bad policy. The Biden administration listened to the climate influencers instead and tried to bury this foolish ban in a Friday news dump.

Until Mr. Biden drops this battle against American energy, I’m going to block every nominee he tries to place at the State and Energy departments. Like the Terminator, I’ll be back again and again to stop his nominees and remind the world that he’s intentionally killing jobs and threatening our national security to placate confused climate extremists.