Texas, 15 states sue Biden admin over climate agenda targeting gas projects


A coalition of 16 Republican states, led by Texas and Louisiana, filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, challenging its recent climate action suspending proposed energy projects.

The multi-state coalition filed its complaint in the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, including President Biden, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, and the Department of Energy (DOE) among the defendants. if. According to the complaint, the DOE's decision earlier this year to suspend major liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal projects violated longstanding federal energy laws.

“Biden's unilateral executive order ignores legal mandates, flouts legal process, disrupts the oil and gas industry, disrupts the Texas economy, and subverts our constitutional structure,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

“The ban will drive billions of dollars in investment away from Texas, hamper our ability to maximize revenue for public schools, force Texas producers to burn excess natural gas rather than bring it to market, and kill critical jobs.” , he continued. “I will not stand by while Biden attacks Texas.”

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks in front of the United States Supreme Court on November 1, 2021. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

According to Paxton, the moratorium on LNG exports is unconstitutional, ignores the “pro-export presumption” of the Natural Gas Act of 1938, and throws out decades of DOE energy policy.

In arguing the alleged unconstitutionality of the policy, the states' complaint notes that Article I of the Constitution vests Congress “[a]All legislative powers”, including the power “[t]or regulate trade with foreign nations.” Therefore, since blocking LNG exports can be considered regulation of trade, the DOE violated the Constitution, according to the lawsuit.

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“The ban on LNG exports involves an issue of profound national importance. LNG exports represent billions of dollars to the economy and thousands of jobs,” the complaint states. “They also raise serious national security issues. And this is an issue that has been the subject of bills and public attention inside and outside Congress.”

President Biden in January ordered a halt to pending natural gas export projects in a surprising move. (Getty Images)

The complaint accuses the DOE of violating the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs administrative law procedures. The states note that DOE did not host any public comment period before finalizing its LNG policy without “good cause for waiving the notice and comment requirement.”

Additionally, the states argue that the DOE did not adequately consider the Natural Gas Act and its provision stating that the agency will issue an export license before hearing from the public.

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“The Biden administration's unlawful attacks on American energy endanger the livelihoods of thousands of Louisiana's working men and women, millions of dollars in tax revenue, and billions of dollars in infrastructure,” said Attorney General Louisiana, Liz Murrill.

“LNG continues to have a huge positive economic impact for our state, especially in our hardest-hit coastal communities, which continue to recover from a recent series of devastating hurricanes. Jobs like these grow the economy, reduce crime and help address the problem. -Immigration problem,” he continued. “The people of Louisiana are proud to move this nation forward. I am ready to fight for them.”

Pictured is an LNG tanker at the port of Elbehafen in Brunsbuettel, Germany. American LNG has been instrumental in helping Germany and other European nations transition away from Russian gas. (Bodo Marks/Picture Alliance via Getty Images)

In a surprise move in January, Biden ordered the DOE to suspend pending permits for LNG export facilities while federal officials conducted a rigorous environmental review to assess the projects' carbon emissions, which could take more than a year. year to complete. The move was praised by climate activists who loudly called for such a measure, which they said would help combat global warming.

However, the move was criticized by industry groups, former federal officials and bipartisan lawmakers, who noted that energy exports are vital to helping allies in Europe and Asia. Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine two years ago, U.S. LNG largely filled the void left by Russian natural gas as U.S. allies sought to reduce Russian exports and punish the nation's economy, a plan Biden backed in that moment.

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Opponents also argued that LNG exports bolster domestic energy production and boost the U.S. economy. Fossil fuel industry groups Research was recently cited indicating that LNG exports could add up to $73 billion to the U.S. economy by 2040, create 453,000 U.S. jobs, and increase U.S. purchasing power by $30 billion.

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