Washington (January 26, 2024) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, released the following statement today on the Biden administration’s announcement of a temporary pause on pending approvals of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and to initiate a review of export-related economic, national security, and climate implications:

“For too long, the United States served as an enabler for Big Oil and Big Gas’s get-rich-quick scheme, as it got countries around the world addicted to fossil fuels at the expense of American families. This surge in natural gas exports was matched by rising energy costs at home and soaring global temperatures driven by fossil-fueled climate change. I applaud the Biden administration for this much-needed move to protect American communities from export-driven pollution and profiteering.”

The administration’s LNG export analysis would commence with a desperately needed pause on export approvals. The United States is the world’s largest producer of natural gas and, as of early last year, the world’s largest exporter of LNG. There are currently eight operating LNG export terminals in the United States, and another 23 terminals and expansions are proposed, approved, or under construction. This policy would put LNG export approvals to countries without a free trade agreement on hold until data is reviewed, and public input is taken into consideration.

Senator Markey has been active in legislating on LNG safety and exports for decades, passing the first-ever legislation to regulate the transportation of hazardous liquids by pipeline as an amendment to the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act in 1979. Senator Markey is the author of the Block All New (BAN) Fossil Fuel Exports Act, which would reinstate the fossil fuel export ban that was lifted in 2015, prioritize U.S. consumers against fossil fuel profiteering, and help ensure the United States meets its climate and clean energy commitments on the world stage. In December 2023, he co-led a letter from international parliamentarians on the globally recognized need to halt the construction and expansion of LNG export facilities.