Note: This item is the weekly Wicker Report of Mississippi U.S. Roger Wicker and is provided by the Senator’s office. Any opinions are those of Sen. Wicker and not necessarily that of this publication.
By Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)
LNG Bans Hurt American Workers and National Security
Last month, President Biden said he will stop almost all new permits on projects to export liquid natural gas (LNG). The growing United States LNG industry is so undeniably good for the United States that there is only one explanation for the president’s decision. He knows it is an election year, and he wants to shore up his climate activist base. With this move, the president is scoring some political points at the expense of American energy security and workers.
The president spends a lot of time promoting what he calls an “Invest in America” agenda, but is constituents can see right through that. His administration has made a habit of stifling American energy production, which encourages energy companies to take their investment to a more welcoming nation. This recent decision hits the Gulf Coast especially hard.
The President’s Stunt Hurts Mississippi
Workers at LNG export terminals cool natural gas until it reaches a liquid form that is safe for transport. That liquid is sent to destinations around the world and turned back into gas, which families use to heat their homes and cook their meals. The United States began shipping LNG abroad just eight years ago, but by last year, we had become the world’s leading exporter. We in the Gulf Coast benefit from much of this growth. As this industry grows, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi are reaping the rewards.
When an LNG export terminal is constructed, it creates thousands of jobs and stimulates surrounding economies. From its ribbon cutting day forward, a site generates $600 billion in revenue. Other sectors gain, too, since the project puts construction teams and steel manufacturers to work. Those rewards multiply as other terminals get built.
The last thing a growing industry needs is unpredictability, but that is what the president has given American LNG producers. The administration’s arbitrary pause hangs a “Closed for Business” sign on America’s door. Few companies will risk billions of dollars and years of work on a project that is likely to be denied. President Biden is chilling a hot industry, which is why America’s LNG competitors abroad welcome his decision with open arms.
The President Puts Politics Over People
Nearly a quarter of the world’s energy comes from LNG. And, increasingly, the world is buying American. For the past two years, Europe has been transitioning away from Russian gas. The United States is filling that void, draining Vladimir Putin’s coffers while funding American paychecks.
The Biden administration’s LNG announcement stands to stall this change, signaling to Europe that the United States is not a reliable trade partner. The president’s political stunt will benefit both our economic competitors and an adversary like Russia.
More of the Same from the President
This is just the most recent move in the Biden administration’s war on American energy. Since he took office, the president has blocked oil and gas leases on federal lands. He has imposed methane fees, which disproportionally hurt small businesses. His officials have failed to adequately reform the permitting process. They have even boosted China’s role in the critical minerals supply chain by barring access to American mines.
The American LNG export industry has been a massive success because energy companies understood they were free to set up shop in the United States. Their efforts have employed Americans, increased energy security, and reduced dependence on bad actors. That is what investing in American can do.