Barrasso: The World Needs and Wants More American Natural Gas, Not Less

February 8, 2024

Click here to watch Senator Barrasso’s opening remarks.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), delivered remarks at a full committee hearing to examine the administration’s pause on liquefied natural gas (LNG) export approvals and the Department of Energy’s process for assessing LNG export applications.

The hearing featured testimony from the Honorable David M. Turk, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy; Mr. Charlie Riedl, Executive Director, Center for LNG; and, Dr. James Watson, Secretary General, Eurogas.

For more information on witness testimony click here.

Senator Barrasso’s remarks: 

“Well thanks so very much Mr. Chairman. I agree with the comments you made.

“I want to thank you for holding the hearing.

“I remember in 2014, then former Defense Secretary Robert Gates wrote about the then Vice President Joe Biden, he said:

‘he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.’

“I’m sorry to say that Joe Biden’s record not only hasn’t improved, it’s actually gotten worse.

“On every energy security issue facing our country, Joe Biden has been terribly wrong for our nation’s security.

“As the Wall Street Journal put it – and this from just the other day, Monday, February 5 – this is based on the President’s announcement to stop approving liquefied natural gas LNG exports, it is:

           ‘Biden’s Worst Energy Decision’  yet.

“That’s the President of the United States.

“Even the liberal Washington Post called it – 

            ‘Biden’s LNG pause is just political theatre.’

“If you go through it, it says ‘an election year sop to climate activists.’

“Because that’s what it is, Mr. Chairman – a transparent, very transparent, election-year payoff to appease radical environmentalists who want to end exports of American natural gas.

“The president wants to appear reasonable.

“He says, well, we just want to take a hard look at the impacts of LNG exports on energy costs.

“You made the point on that, on America’s energy security, and the environment.

“It’s environment, environment, environment, but we already know the impacts.

“The impacts on our economy,

“The impacts on all of the issues related to this are overwhelmingly positive, including with the environment.

“We shouldn’t spend any time, let alone a year that they want to spend, studying a question that has already been asked and answered.

“That’s what makes President Biden’s decision, in my opinion, cowardly.

“He defies logic to kiss up to the radical climate extremists.

“So why would I say this? Well, The New York Times reported.

“This is a New York Times report, that the White House made the decision to stop approving LNG exports based on the demands of a 25-year-old so-called influencer on Tik Tok.

“The President of the United States relying on some young man’s Tik Tok account to set policy affecting our closest allies around the world.

“So let’s look at the facts.

“Critics have claimed that American natural gas exports would raise natural gas prices here at home.

“The data shows otherwise.

“In the 8 years since we began exporting LNG, the domestic spot price of gas is, on average, much lower than the domestic spot price on gas during the 8 years before we were able to start exporting LNG.

“Critics also say exports would reduce the supply of natural gas here at home.

“But, in 2023, there was 23 percent more natural gas available to the U.S. economy than in 2015  – the year where we began with exports.

“That’s because American natural gas exports stimulate additional natural gas production.

“American natural gas exports have also improved our balance of trade.

“From 2016 to 2023, LNG exports brought $134 billion into our American economy.

“In that process, they have created thousands of good-paying jobs for American workers.

“On security, the answer is obvious.

“American natural gas exports are vital to our nation’s security.

“Without them, our allies and partners across the world would be more dependent on Russia’s Vladimir Putin and on Iran’s theocracy.

“Europe knows the value of American energy.

“Two short years ago, our European allies faced a horrible decision of either depriving their own citizens of energy or buying gas from Russia.

“And of course the money to Russia would help fund Putin’s war against Ukraine.

“American natural gas exports allowed Europe to cut imports of Russian gas while keeping their citizens warm and the lights on.

“In 2021, 29 percent of U.S. liquefied natural gas exports were shipped to Europe.

“It’s now more than twice that amount.

“If Joe Biden has his way, Europe and our allies will now be on their own.

“They will be forced back into the arms of Russia, Iran, and the Middle East – anywhere but the United States.

“And Congress would be spending billions of dollars protecting Ukraine and Israel only for Joe Biden to allow Russia and Iran to generate billions more in new natural gas sales.

“It’s utterly ludicrous and self-defeating.

“Finally, there is no basis to the claim that American natural gas exports are bad for the environment.

“The fact is, American natural gas is among the cleanest in the world – far cleaner than Russia, far cleaner than Iranian gas.

“At last year’s climate conference, nearly 200 countries, including the U.S., called out the role fuels like natural gas are playing in reducing emissions.

“Not increasing emissions, but reducing emissions.

“Mr. Chairman, the world needs – and wants – more American energy, not less.

“The president can break his 50-year run of getting things wrong by waking up and reversing this terrible decision, one that the Washington Post says, ‘is just political theatre,’ not really helping the economy or the environment.

“If he doesn’t, Congress and this Committee must act.

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”