Expectations are growing President Joe Biden will tap the brakes on natural gas exports — a nod to climate activists who oppose fossil fuels and a potential blow to planned expansions of U.S. energy shipments abroad.
The Department of Energy is poised to launch a review as soon as Friday of how it assesses liquefied natural gas export projects, taking a harder look at the effect that shipping more gas around the world has on global carbon emissions, Ben Lefebvre writes. The review, which could last into 2025, comes after months of pressure on the White House to freeze the development of CP2, a giant LNG export project proposed along the Louisiana coast.
Any pause on approvals for major LNG export infrastructure would fall in line with a pledge by the U.S. and other nations at last month’s climate summit in Dubai to move away from reliance on fossil fuels.
The reported changes to DOE’s evaluation criteria have followed months of advocacy aimed at Biden, both in person and on social media.
“Our work is paying off,” wrote Michael Greenberg, the founder of the group Climate Defiance, in an email blast to journalists.
A fight over natural gas exports that caught political fire would feed into a familiar narrative that pits U.S. oil and gas production against concerns about the environment. And it’s one Biden’s familiar with. Just ahead of his own reelection campaign in 2012, then-President Barack Obama navigated a decadelong battle over whether to build the Keystone XL pipeline, an oil project that would have brought oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast.
More than 30 trade associations on Wednesday decried any changes to the permitting process in a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. The groups said a pause on gas export approvals would “only bolster Russian influence” and undermine commitments that Biden made to U.S. allies in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The anticipated updates at DOE would examine how federal officials should factor in climate change as they evaluate proposed gas export projects. The United States is the world’s largest LNG exporter.
DOE approves export licenses for energy companies to ship gas to countries that don’t have a free-trade agreement with the United States. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorizes the siting and construction of LNG import and export facilities.
It’s Thursday — thank you for tuning in to POLITICO’s Power Switch. I’myour host, Carlos Anchondo. Power Switch is brought to you by the journalists behind E&E News and POLITICO Energy. Send your tips, comments, questions to email@example.com.
Today in POLITICO Energy’s podcast: Josh Siegel breaks down the latest push from Democratic and Republican Senate leaders to overhaul permitting rules.
What happens to the IRA without Chevron?
As the Supreme Court considers the fate of a legal doctrine that has given wide latitude to federal agencies in drafting regulations, the Inflation Reduction Act could face the consequences if it’s struck down, Pamela King writes.
Justices appeared skeptical of the 40-year-old legal theory known as the Chevron doctrine in arguments last week. How they proceed will align with legal arguments about the Inflation Reduction Act’s implementation.
Kirti Datla, director of strategic legal advocacy for Earthjustice, said overturning the ruling “might raise the stakes for a very new statute, and there may be things to think about that you might not have to under an old statute.”
New Jersey wind makes a U-turn
New Jersey regulators’ approval of two massive offshore wind projects shows that the industry’s recent woes may not be end of the story, Benjamin Storrow writes.
“It is the clearest sign of the long-term commitment from the state of New Jersey and Gov. Murphy, and the beginning of the bounce back after a pretty crummy 2023,” said Tim Sullivan, chief executive officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.
The two projects, Leading Light Wind and Attentive Energy Two, are among the largest offshore wind installations approved in the U.S. The developers of Leading Light Wind, Invenergy and energyRe, are the first pair of American companies to win a competitive offshore contract.
Climate punches are flying on the Hill
Republicans on Capitol Hill are stepping up attacks on President Joe Biden’s climate and energy policies, Kelsey Brugger writes.
The messaging is coming in floor speeches but is poised to spread to legislation and other mechanisms as the campaign season gets going.
Electric vehicle and EPA air rules earned the ire of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), who said in a floor speech that “it’s clear we must reverse course, leave behind the unworkable proposals and job-killing overreach and work together to allow realistic solutions to thrive here in America.”
We’ve got gas: A glut of natural gas is pushing down heating costs as a frigid start to 2024 gives way to warmer weather.
Tesla troubles: Share prices in Tesla dropped Thursday after the electric-vehicle-maker’s quarterly results missed analysts’ expectations.
Guidance from the Treasury Department on hydrogen tax credits could cause EPA to reconsider its draft rule for power plant emissions.
Dan Brouillette, who was former President Donald Trump’s second Energy secretary and is now president of the Edison Electric Institute, warned against coal plant retirements as demand rises.
The European Union’s plans for reducing emissions by 2040 include steep cuts for agriculture, according to a draft document seen by POLITICO.
That’s it for today, folks! Thanks for reading.