President Joe Biden plans to direct the Department of Energy to delay all reviews for LNG export terminals and come up with a process to factor in “long-term climate impacts” of a growing natural gas export market, Bloomberg reported Jan. 25.

The policy would delay several LNG export facilities scheduled to come online by 2027, including Venture Global LNG’s Calcasieu Pass 2 project, Energy Transfer’s Lake Charles project, and Commonwealth LNG’s export project near Cameron, Louisiana, among others.

Rumblings that the Biden administration would add a climate change analysis to the approval process for LNG export terminals began circulating earlier in January, when Politico ran a report that the White House was considering adding a CO₂ emissions study requirement to the national interest segment of the certification.

The new Bloomberg report attributed the story to unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

On Jan. 24, The New York Times reported that the White House would specifically delay the decision on the Calcasieu Pass project.

The move has been cheered on by environmental groups, who Biden has been courting as a voting block in the upcoming presidential election.

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a group that encourages an acceleration to alternative energy sources, praised the move.

“Given the myriad of environmental, consumer, security and health concerns raised by these projects, this is welcome news for local communities,” the IEEFA said in a press release. “IEEFA believes that it is appropriate for the Department of Energy to consider whether further expansion of U.S. LNG export capacity is in the U.S. public interest.”

Since the story on Jan. 24 broke, energy executives and political figures have come forward denouncing the plan. The move would make the U.S. LNG industry look unstable, hurt allies who are planning on increased imports and ultimately increase CO₂ emissions as natural gas is used primarily to replace coal in older power plants.

“America becoming energy dominant again—like in 2019—is the key to restoring global order, and that starts with a strong LNG export industry,” said Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian in a letter to the Biden administration on Jan. 24.

“I don’t know about President Biden, but I’d much rather have the world buy America’s clean natural gas over gas anywhere else,” Christian said. “Our energy strategy should be to increase production of our domestic fossil fuels and export that reliable energy to our allies across the globe.”

Looking beyond the delay, Tom Sharp, director of permitting intelligence for Arbo, said a project analysis for climate change would be a huge challenge for the federal government.

Climate change is a global phenomenon, Sharp said. A study or analysis of single project’s effect on the entire globe that could withstand a company’s legal challenge would be extremely difficult to create.

In a Jan. 25 statement from the American Petroleum Institute, President and CEO Mike Sommers said, “This would be a win for Russia and a loss for American allies, U.S. jobs and global climate progress.”

LNG has been a key factor in helping Europe replace Russian natural gas since the start of the war in Ukraine in 2022, API noted in the release.

“In 2022, the U.S. surged more than 800 LNG cargoes to Europe—a 141% increase from 2021,” Sommers said. “A recent study shows that Europe likely faces a looming natural gas supply gap that threatens its long-term energy security.”