Federal judge pauses Biden’s partial liquefied natural gas export ban

(The Center Square) – A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s ban on new exports of liquified natural gas exports to non-free trade agreement countries.

Judge James Cain Jr. of the Western District of Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Energy’s partial LNG export ban after more than a dozen states sued, arguing the ban was illegal.

“It appears that the DOE’s decision to halt the permit approval process for entities to export LNG to non-FTA countries is completely without reason or logic and is perhaps the epiphany of ideocracy,” Cain wrote in his ruling.

The ban was put in place, according to the Biden administration, because the exports “no longer adequately account for considerations like potential energy cost increases for American consumers and manufacturers beyond current authorizations or the latest assessment of the impact of greenhouse gas emissions.”

After the Department of Energy announced the ban in January, 16 states filed suit, including Louisiana.

“This is great news for Louisiana, our 16 state partners in this fight, and the entire country,” Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill said in a statement following the judge’s decision. “As Judge Cain mentioned in his ruling, there is roughly $61 billion dollars of pending infrastructure at risk to our state from this illegal pause. LNG has an enormous and positive impact on Louisiana, supplying clean energy for the entire world, and providing good jobs here at home.”

Louisiana was joined by Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming in the lawsuit.

“Joe Biden seems to have as much trouble following the law as he does putting together a sentence without a teleprompter,” Daniel Turner, founder and executive director of Power The Future, an energy worker advocacy group, said in a statement. “This ban on American energy from Joe Biden not only hurt our energy workers but gave Vladimir Putin an opportunity to expand the market for Russia’s natural gas. This was another election year failure from Joe Biden trying to appease his extreme climate base no matter how much it hurts American families.

​Dan McCaleb is the executive editor of The Center Square. He welcomes your comments. Contact Dan at dmccaleb@thecentersquare.com.