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Senior Biden Official Testifies in Senate on LNG Permit Pause

Deputy U.S. Energy Secretary David Turk is testifying on Thursday before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to defend the Biden Administration’s decision to pause pending permits for LNG export projects.

The hearing, called by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who is chairman of the committee, will examine the Administration’s pause on LNG export approvals and the Department of Energy’s process for assessing LNG export applications.

Last month, the Biden Administration said it was pausing all pending decisions on U.S. LNG export projects until the Department of Energy can update the underlying analyses for authorizations.

During the temporary pause – which is expected to affect four planned LNG export projects – DOE will carry out a new updated review on the impact of such projects on health and communities.

Following the U.S. Administration’s decision, Senator Manchin vowed to “hold a hearing on LNG in the coming weeks to unveil the facts about the true state of play in the markets, this Administration’s motivations, and their implications.”

“If the Administration has the facts to prove that additional LNG export capacity would hurt Americans, they must make that information public and clear.”

“But if this pause is just another political ploy to pander to keep-it-in-the-ground climate activists at the expense of American workers, businesses, and our allies in need, I will do everything in my power to end this pause immediately,” Senator Manchin said.

U.S. oil and gas producers and exporters and industry associations have slammed the Biden Administration’s decision as “a win for Russia and a loss for American allies, U.S. jobs and global climate progress.”

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The pause in new LNG export project approvals announced by the Biden Administration is “a mistake” as it would actually hold back global efforts to reduce emissions, ExxonMobil’s CFO Kathy Mikells told Bloomberg in an interview last week.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com 

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