The US government indicated on Friday that it will stop issuing new licenses for the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG). This also includes licenses for the construction of new terminals.
The United States wants to investigate the influence of LNG transports from the country on, among other things, the climate.
“This pause on new LNG approvals sees the climate crisis for what it is: the existential threat of our time,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. Environmental organizations are critical of constructing extensive facilities to ship LNG to other countries. Liquefied natural gas is a fossil fuel. Activists fear that massive new infrastructure will mean LNG will be used for future generations.
Proponents of LNG exports argue that exports are crucial for developing countries to stop using coal as fuel. Europe also benefits from LNG to compensate for the lost gas supply from Russia. The US is the world’s largest LNG exporter. There are currently seven terminals in operation.
The US Department of Energy will conduct the investigation and could take months. The government’s decision will not affect previously granted permits.