White House: LNG Export Approval Pause Is 'Next Step' on Climate, We Might End Exports Forever

On Friday’s broadcast of NPR’s “Morning Edition,” White House National Climate Adviser Ali Zaidi stated that the pause in liquid natural gas (LNG) export approvals “flows, I think, very clearly from the President’s incredibly strong leadership on climate change,” from a president “dedicated to listening to the science and frontline communities” and responded to a question on whether the pause is the next step into ending LNG exports altogether by stating that “we will follow the facts.”

Co-host A Martínez asked, [relevant exchange begins around 2:05] “How much is this decision based on poll after poll that shows that President Biden gets bad approval ratings from people on climate change, on how he handles climate change? Does that have anything to do with this decision at all?”

Zaidi answered, “This decision flows, I think, very clearly from the President’s incredibly strong leadership on climate change, which has been front and center from day one. He walked into office, signed the United States back into the Paris Agreement. He reversed rollbacks that undermined our public health, our environment, and our energy security. He set forth a domestic climate agenda that’s delivered the largest investment in climate change, not just here in the United States, but around the world, and, as a result, has made, really, the U.S. the magnet for private investment. … So, this is the next step in a presidency where the President, very clearly, from day one, has been unafraid to follow the facts, dedicated to listening to the science and frontline communities and has had, I think, a very strong commitment to taking climate action.”

Martínez then asked, “Is it the next step into eventually ending LNG exports?”

Zaidi responded, “Look, the Department of Energy is launching this process to study the economics, the environmental implications. We’ve had folks from the U.S. manufacturing sector, just in the last few days, call for this sort of review to make sure we’re thinking about the implications for costs and competitiveness here. There have been scientists over the last decade, five years, and year who’ve called for increased scrutiny on the implications from a greenhouse gas perspective. So, this is responsive to that, and we will follow the facts.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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