Coalition Press Statement
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the Biden Administration announced it will pause approval on new liquefied natural gas exports, including those from the controversial Calcasieu Pass 2 (CP2), while it reassesses the climate and economic impacts of these projects and whether they meet the public interest. Amid the devastation on the Gulf Coast created by LNG export facilities, local residents and leaders have demanded change for years. Recently, hundreds of thousands of Americans – from retired Army generals to economists to public health professionals – have joined them, speaking out to halt the expansion of LNG exports:
Recent polling found that voters support limits on natural gas exports by a 2-to-1 margin.
Over 230 environmental groups sent a letter to the Biden administration urging them to stop CP2 and update their approval processes.
30 local and national public health organizations, representing over 73,000 health professionals, sent a letter to President Biden urging him to stop the buildout of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals on the Gulf Coast
Frontline activists delivered over 230,000 petitions to the Department of Energy, calling on the Administration to halt all proposed facilities.
60+ Members of Congress sent a letter urging the Biden Administration to overhaul its decision-making on CP2 and LNG exports to account for the climate, economic, local environmental justice, and national security risks.
Their opposition highlights key risks of new LNG exports and the damage they do to local communities, public health, energy prices, national security, and the climate.
Below Are Statements in Response to Today’s Announcement:
Roishetta Ozane, Director of the Vessel Project:
“This announcement from the Biden Administration is truly monumental for our communities. As someone who has witnessed the devastating impacts of fossil fuel extractive industries, I am filled with hope and gratitude for this important step towards justice. Halting permits for these industries is a clear acknowledgment of the urgent need to protect the well-being and rights of those of us who have been disproportionately affected. It is a powerful statement that we can no longer allow these industries to continue operating without considering the health and safety of the people living in these areas. However, it is crucial to remember that this is just the beginning of a long journey. While this decision is a significant victory, we must not become complacent. The fight for environmental justice and the elimination of fossil fuel extractive industries must continue. We must remain vigilant and continue to advocate for sustainable alternatives. We cannot afford to let up in our efforts to hold decision-makers accountable and ensure that frontline communities are no longer subjected to the harmful effects of these industries. This announcement is a reason to celebrate, but it is also a reminder that our work is far from over.”
James Hiatt, Director of For a Better Bayou:
“I'm thankful for this pause in granting gas export licenses; the DOE has finally heard the wake-up call. The gas industry was planning to inundate my hometown with LNG terminals. These gas export terminals, like CP2, are not just an environmental threat; they're an economic burden on American families. As the U.S. Energy Information Administration points out, exporting LNG drives up domestic energy costs, affecting everything from home heating to food prices. It's time to really assess our priorities and consider the wider implications of these projects - there's no Public Interest in padding the pockets and short-term profits of big gas companies on the backs of every American family."
John Allaire, Environmental Engineer, Retired Oil and Gas Worker, and Cameron Parish resident (LA):
"For those of us who live in the shadow of gas export terminals, and see their toxic flares night and day, today's decision to pause gas export terminals and overhaul the review process is very welcome news. I hope that the announcement today signals an end to the Department of Energy’s continued approval of methane exports in the form of Liquefied Natural Gas. Continuing to approve methane exports directly contradicts the Department of Energy’s Mission Statement, and real change by the Biden Administration is needed to ensure that U.S. consumers are protected from the economic, environmental, and security risks of LNG exports."
Anne Rolfes, Director, Louisiana Bucket Brigade:
"The fishermen of south Louisiana are facing extinction from the gas export industry. We are happy about the reported pause. Gas exports from the coast of Louisiana are disastrous for our fishermen, our country and our climate.”
John Beard, Executive Director of the Port Arthur Community Action Network:
“This is welcomed news from the Biden Administration and a step toward climate justice. The jury is still out on whether these 17 and other projects are in the public interest, or will even get built, especially in sacrificed communities in the Gulf South, Appalachia, Alaska and tribal ancestral lands. We need to know the details of this “pause”; what will be the process and criteria considerations for new fracked gas and petrochem infrastructure? Affected communities must be at the table, their concerns heard and acted upon. This is an important step in the climate justice journey, but more work remains.”
Travis Dardar, Southwest Louisiana indigenous fisherman, and Founder of Fishermen Involved in Sustaining our Heritage (FISH):
“Yes, this is a victory, and we’re glad to know that President Biden and Energy Secretary Granholm are finally listening to us and taking action to protect Louisiana fishermen. But, a pause can be unpaused anytime. We know firsthand how ruthless these gas export companies can be. They shoved these gas export terminals down our throats, destroying our fishing grounds, clogging the channel we use with their massive tankers, and constantly sending poisonous smoke into our air. If we want the next generation to be able to fish in Southwest Louisiana and feed America, then Biden and Granholm need to deny all gas export terminals, and let this sinking industry fall to the bottom of the sea.”
Melanie Oldham, Director of Clean Air & Clean Water Better Brazoria:
“I want to thank the administration for the pause in granting new licenses to LNG export facilities. Last year, when Freeport LNG exploded and sent a fireball into the air, we witnessed firsthand the dangers of these massive projects, and I hope that this pause is the first of many steps the administration takes in making sure no other LNG terminal gets built. However, the fight is not over. Freeport LNG continues to operate recklessly in my town, and we will not stop until they shut it down.”
Svitlana Romanko, Director of Ukrainian organization Razom We Stand:
"Fossil fuels and LNG continue to contribute to massive problems across the planet: economic losses in the trillions, climate disruption, geopolitical conflict and horrific war, breathing problems costing millions of lives. The solution is to build out cheaper clean energy, like wind and solar, and to stop subsidizing fossil fuels and LNG, which received $7 trillion in subsidies globally last year, according to the IMF. If the reporting is true, President Biden's efforts to stop addiction to fossil fuels and to support clean energy are well recognized, and are a shining model others must follow. Only when we end fossil fuels can we win over petro dictators, and stop Big Oil profiteering off the Russian War in Ukraine."
Kathleen Thompson, Progress Texas Executive Director:
“Progress Texas celebrates potential action from the Biden Administration and Secretary Granholm acknowledging Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) exports’ harm to American citizens and the environment. Texas and neighbor Louisiana are two of the top oil and gas exporters, and we have an interest in ensuring prices stay affordable here at home, that our families are safe from the high and long term costs of LNG on our health and local economies, and of course, not adding more fuel to the fire of our already scorching climate.
"We believe this pause in approvals is real progress. President Biden is answering the call to action across the country, and a pause will help combat the climate crisis in Texas—one of the most threatened states in America.”
Chispa Texas Program Director Elida Castillo:
“We thank the Biden-Harris administration for listening to our communities experiencing the devastating impacts of massive oil and gas exports firsthand. This is a hopeful and critical step forward to prioritize people over polluters for our future generations and our communities along the Gulf coast. After record-breaking heat across the country last year, this major action is crucial to combat the climate crisis and environmental injustice, especially for our communities most harmed by toxic pollution from oil and gas extraction. For too long, Big Polluters have been allowed to export more fossil fuels year after year regardless of the cost to communities who are living with even more consequences from toxic pollution, consumers across the country already facing higher costs and unreliable energy sources, and more impacted communities by our reliance on fossil fuels. Despite what Big Oil wants us to believe, renewables are bringing down the energy costs for everyone. This is the path to a more sustainable and equitable clean energy future that stabilizes our economy and supports our domestic energy security.”
LTG Russel Honoré (Ret.), leader of Joint Task Force Katrina, leader of The GreenARMY:
“The news that the Biden Administration is considering the enormous climate impacts of this proposed facility is welcome news in Louisiana. Since the boom in gas exports began in 2016, the southern reaches of our state have been decimated by the oil and gas industry, which have turned our fisheries and coastal wetlands into concrete platforms larger than football fields. What used to be the headquarters of our nation’s seafood industry has all but been destroyed by gas export terminals, for which the fossil fuel industry has dredged large stretches of the Gulf and turned our rivers into shipping channels for their supertankers. All the while, Louisiana locals have been sounding the alarm bells for Washington, but with every new plant, the message was clear: local American industries simply weren’t as important as exporting liquefied gas to foreign buyers.
“It’s heartening to see the Administration take a critical look at the damage another massive gas export terminal would cause. Liquified methane may cause less particulate pollution than coal, but as a greenhouse gas, it is 28 by times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. A recent report by Symons Public Affairs showed that if every new export terminal proposed by the industry were approved by the federal government, the greenhouse gas emissions would be greater than those of the entire European Union. I’m glad to see our leaders coming to grips with this stark reality.
“The idea that exporting American gas is good for our national security is just a public relations tactic the industry likes to use to avoid scrutiny and accountability. In reality, Europe’s needs for gas are being met without needing Russian imports or increased export capacity here in the US. This is a finite resource. Exporting it puts the United States at a disadvantage and the buildout of additional export terminals creates more vulnerable targets here in the United States along our Gulf Coast. We can better bolster our national security by keeping this gas where it belongs: deep in the ground here in the United States.”
Bill McKibben, Author, Educator, and Climate Activist:
“The world pledged in Dubai that the time had come to transition away from fossil fuels, and today the Biden administration made a courageous step in that direction. More than any president before him, Biden has stood up to Big Oil — their outcry today is proof of what a big deal this is. All credit goes to those in the Gulf who've been fighting this for years--thank heaven the administration took seriously their cause, and acted boldly today. With this decision, President Biden — who already can claim to have done more to bolster clean energy than any of his predecessors — has also done more to check dirty energy, halting the largest fossil fuel expansion in history.”
Ben Jealous, Executive Director of Sierra Club:
“President Biden and Secretary Granholm’s bold step today continues this administration’s historic efforts to meet the global commitment to phase out fossil fuels and confront the climate crisis head on. This decision is a major win for communities and advocates that have long spoken out about the dangers of LNG, and makes it clear that the Biden administration is listening to the calls to break America’s reliance on dirty fossil fuels and secure a livable future for us all. Strong leadership, that rejects fossil fuel industry fear mongering, is our best bet to protect communities and ensure energy is affordable. It's undeniable that LNG export projects are simply not in the public interest and we are confident that if this review is done right, that would end the rubber-stamping of these projects. The Biden administration is making the right choice on behalf of the planet, our communities, and our national security."
Elise Joshi, Executive Director of Gen-Z for Change:
“Millions of people across the country have been urging the Biden Administration to take measurable action on fossil fuels; to reject new oil and gas projects, phase out current production, and build a new economy that prioritizes everything we hold dear, from unions to breathable air. This decision is a tremendous step forward in the movement for economic, environmental, and health justice."
Alex Haraus, Activist and Social Media Creator:
“Over the last 4 years, tens of millions of voters across party lines have urged the U.S. government to drop fossil fuels and move toward healthier horizons. We will keep urging, of course, because we want a President who will stand with us and have yet to see that. A review of all proposed LNG projects would give us hope and help us imagine that we can see federal action like this again and again. I look forward to that future. I hope it starts this year. To reassess adding a continent’s worth of pollution to the atmosphere is an obvious step toward a brighter future, and we are all ready to celebrate if that good decision comes … Until then, we carry on.”
Abigail Dillen, President of Earthjustice:
“We applaud the Biden administration for taking this tremendously important step to align its decision-making on gas exports with U.S. climate goals. As communities across the country face the devastating impacts of the climate crisis and fossil fuel pollution, it’s never been clearer that rubber-stamping LNG exports is not in the public interest. We look forward to working with the Department of Energy to make sure that the environmental and economic risks of LNG exports are fully accounted for when it makes public interest determinations.”
Climate Action Campaign Director Margie Alt:
“President Biden met this moment on climate, delivering on his promise to slash climate pollution and take measurable steps to protect our environment and future. This decision to pause the permitting for a massive extracted gas export facility and other projects to require the consideration of climate impacts is exactly the kind of leadership we need from President Biden. Burning more extracted gas makes climate change worse and intensifies extreme weather disasters. Standing up to big polluters and putting people before profits, is what the president promised and what the president is delivering.”
RL Miller, political director of Climate Hawks Vote and Democratic National Committee member:
“Under President Biden’s leadership, America is already leading the world in renewable energy and electric car deployment. Now he’s made a politically smart decision to take on the fossil fuel industry – and he’s sending a strong signal to the youth climate movement that he is the leader we need to stay in the White House. And that’s what this election is about: freedom from fossil fuels, or fascism.”
KD Minor, Community Solutions Coordinator of the Alliance for Affordable Energy:
“Louisiana ranks 46th in the nation for energy efficiency, and the existing LNG infrastructure has wreaked havoc on coastal residents through exorbitant utility bills. As we experience weather extremes on both sides of the thermometer, the international commodities markets have turned Louisiana into an LNG faucet. With this welcomed announcement, it is imperative that the Biden administration consider the burden that CP2 and all proposed LNG facilities will have on our people and our ability to recover from the effects of climate change.”
Leah Qusba, Executive Director of Action for the Climate Emergency:
“Liquefied gas exports pose an existential threat. Adding climate considerations to the permitting process for CP2 and other LNG facilities is a step towards lowering domestic energy costs being passed on to everyday Americans and fighting the climate crisis. ACE is beyond thankful for the work of frontline communities who’ve led this fight for so long, other climate and advocacy groups, and the thousands of young people who’ve made their voices heard on this critical issue. We stand ready to continue fighting for a shared future free from fossil fuels.”
Lauren Parker, attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute:
“Tapping the brakes on CP2 is the best signal yet that the Biden administration is ready to put people and the planet over fossil fuel profiteers. This is a crucial moment to protect future generations by halting the biggest fossil fuel expansion on Earth. Now that the administration is listening to frontline communities, youth and climate advocates fighting for a livable planet, it needs to go all in on phasing out fossil fuels. We need a public interest test that denies any fossil fuel expansion that would drive us deeper into climate catastrophe and violate U.S. commitments to transition away from fossil fuels.”
Lukas Ross, Climate and Energy Deputy Director at Friends of the Earth:
“This is a bold and important step from President Biden, but the fight is just beginning. Big Oil will stop at nothing to lock in another generation of dirty infrastructure. But the climate movement is in this fight for the long haul until the LNG boom is stopped dead in its tracks,” said
Manish Bapna, President & CEO of NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council.):
“This is the right call. The stakes could not be higher - for the climate, U.S. leadership and our future. The administration needs to pause and get the facts. These are dangerous projects that would lock in decades more dependence on the fossil fuels driving us toward climate catastrophe. Let’s be clear about the public interest. It’s time to phase out fossil fuels. That’s what the United States and 197 other countries agreed to do last month in Dubai. That’s what the science demands. Vast industrial projects to export these dirty and dangerous fuels far into the future have no place in a climate-safe world.”
Vet Voice Foundation CEO, Janessa Goldbeck:
“We applaud the decision by President Biden and Secretary Granholm to tackle a serious national security vulnerability by pausing the approval of new LNG exports and reassessing whether sending more US gas overseas is in the best interest of our country and national security. Amid the oil and gas industry’s ongoing push to keep raking in record profits, LNG exports have devolved from an asset for our allies to a serious national security vulnerability. Europe’s need for gas has been met and is declining, but greedy CEOs are pushing to keep their cash cow going by selling US LNG to our adversaries in record numbers. Before it has even been built, LNG from the CP2 facility is already contracted to go to Chinese companies.
“To put it plainly, letting China buy up huge quantities of American LNG and leverage it to expand their influence over the global energy market is a serious risk to our national security; one that could harm our ability to sufficiently respond in moments of crisis. Coupled with the fact that they greatly exacerbate climate change and the challenges it poses to the safety and security of our nation’s military personnel around the globe, LNG exports must be assessed for their risks across the board. The Biden Administration is making the prudent move for our national security and our nation by pausing new approvals and looking closely at the risks involved with the ongoing LNG buildout.”
Zanagee Artis, Executive Director of Zero Hour:
“We are pleased that the Biden Administration will consider climate in the approval of new liquified natural gas export terminals. This is a step in the right direction, but this decision must lead to the only scientifically sound conclusion: a complete rejection of all new LNG export permits. For President Biden to fulfill his promises to young people, he must reject federal permits for all new fossil fuel infrastructure and commit to completely phasing fossil fuels.”
Natalie Mebane, Vice President of Government Affairs of Rise to Thrive:
“The communities fighting for their right to breathe have already calculated the climate and health impacts of expanded LNG exports. Though a pause on the approvals of new LNG export terminals is welcomed, we must accept the scientific consensus that in order to have a safe climate, no new fossil fuel infrastructure can be built anywhere. Black and brown communities already suffer at a disproportionate rate from pollution and climate impacts. It is time for President Biden to commit to transitioning the United States off of fossil fuels and fully embrace just energy policies.”
League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski:
“This is huge. The Biden-Harris administration’s decision to take a deeper look at all the impacts of LNG exports is a major step forward towards protecting our families, our communities, and our climate. This decision sends a clear signal that the administration is taking the global commitment reached in December to transition away from fossil fuels seriously. No president has done more on climate, from day one executive orders to the historic investments in the Inflation Reduction Act to today’s announcement, President Biden is slashing climate pollution, increasing affordable, renewable energy, and transitioning away from fossil fuels. Exporting LNG is harmful to our environment, our economy, and our communities. Continuing to allow the massive expansion of this industry would mean even more toxic pollution and higher energy bills for communities across the country who are already overburdened by pollution and energy costs, and would make it nearly impossible for the world to reach its climate goals. Meanwhile Big Oil is willing to say and spend anything to pad their already record profits. Our future must be powered by clean energy, not the polluting, volatile, and unreliable fossil fuels of the past.”
Ruth Breech, Senior Campaigner for Rainforest Action Network:
“The White House is sending a very clear signal to Wall Street: the doomed methane export overbuild in the US Gulf is one of many bad investments in fossil fuel expansion. The International Energy Agency reported in 2021 that all investment in new oil and gas projects must stop. If fossil fuel backers, from banks and insurance companies, want a healthy return on investment, they must drop all fossil fuel expansion projects and compel clients to have a serious, transparent, time-bound plan for a just energy transition that emphasizes human rights of people like the Gulf coast leaders who made this White House announcement possible. The Gulf is not a sacrifice zone, and neither is the rest of the planet.”
Ebony Twilley-Martin, Greenpeace USA Executive Director:
“Today, we celebrate an incredible win that rests squarely in the hands of people living on the frontlines, who have been fighting this nightmare tirelessly for years. With this delay, President Biden is demonstrating that the United States can and will transition away from dirty oil and gas. It’s a remarkable step that defines the stakes in the upcoming election.
“The White House must now turn this administrative pause into concrete action by updating the climate analysis required for fossil fuel export approvals. If done correctly, this change would permanently derail all other planned LNG terminals. The gas boom planned in this country would poison our communities and set us firmly on the path to an unlivable planet.
“LNG projects across the Gulf South are already harming people’s health, wrecking the environment, raising prices for families, and threatening our national security. We can’t afford to rubber-stamp these climate Death Stars that will decimate both local communities and our planet. Now, the Biden administration needs to finish the job – let’s make the pause permanent.”
Helen Mancini of Fridays For Future NYC and an organizer of the September March To End Fossil Fuels:
“This is a win for youth. It’s a win for 75,000 people who took to the streets in September and for the hundreds of thousands who have signed petitions. President Biden must go through with this delay, and then reject all new fossil fuel approvals. Nothing short of that will energize young people to show up at the polls in historic numbers this November as we must.”
Alicia Colomer, Managing Director at Campus Climate Network:
“For half a century, the fossil fuel industry knew about the causes and dangers of climate change and strategically hid it from the public. Young climate activists have repeatedly stood up against the fossil fuel industry and demanded better from our governments and institutions, through fossil fuel divestment campaigns, exposing dark money ties, and calling out Big Oil’s influence in our politics. It’s time for Biden to listen to his youth base and ban all new fossil fuel projects, including CP2 and its associated LNG projects.”
Kidus Girma, Campaign Director of Sunrise Movement:
“If the Biden Admin follows through on rejecting CP2, this is a massive win. It wouldn’t have happened without tens of thousands of people demanding climate action. We're going to keep working with our allies to make sure this reported pause is enacted and to make clear to President Biden that if he wants to be taken seriously by young people, he must declare a climate emergency and ban ALL new fossil fuel projects.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.