ICYMI: Barrasso Pens Op-Ed: Biden’s War on Energy Is Bad for America and Her Allies

April 2, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, in an op-ed for National Review, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Russ Duerstine, Executive Director of Concerned Veterans for America, outlined the disastrous impacts of President Biden’s indefinite “pause” on the permitting process for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. Read the full op-ed here and below. 

Biden’s War on Energy Is Bad for America and Her Allies
April 2, 2024

National Review

We must stop giving our adversaries a leg up in energy markets.

In 2014, former defense secretary Robert Gates wrote that then–vice president Joe Biden “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

Joe Biden’s judgment hasn’t gotten any better since he became president, especially regarding energy security.

In January, President Biden decided to stop approving new exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). This politically motivated decision was reportedly made soon after the White House staff met with a 25-year-old TikTok “influencer.” Biden’s decision, which puts a halt to new export terminals for American gas in the United States and Mexico, threatens to kill American jobs, push gas prices higher, and undermine our allies.

America’s energy revolution over the past two decades reversed our country’s historical position as a net importer of energy. It eliminated the leverage adversarial energy-producing nations had over us and our allies. This extraordinary success story occurred through a national commitment to reclaim America’s energy future. The more the current president chokes off domestic energy production and pushes an unrealistic, “green” energy transition, the more he allows Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and China to control world energy and mineral markets.

Europe’s dependence on Russian energy, especially natural gas, has long been a point of strategic vulnerability. It became a massive liability when Russia invaded Ukraine. Luckily, the United States was able to answer Europe’s call by exporting LNG. In 2021, Europe was the destination for just 29 percent of U.S. LNG exports; by 2023, our allies on the continent received 62 percent. This helped them reduce their dependence on Russia. The number of good American jobs grew along with it.

The U.S. now leads the world in LNG exports. We could increase production even more given the huge reserves of natural gas in the U.S. and the increased global demand for LNG. Since America started exporting it, in 2016, the supply of natural gas to the U.S. economy, too, has grown, while the average spot price has declined.

Coming from energy-producing states, we know that energy production and exports are good for the American people, our economy, and our national security. Biden’s failed energy policy, should it continue, would enrich our rivals and allow them to gain influence over our allies while weakening America. Russia is already the world’s fourth-largest LNG exporter, and it is working to triple its export capacity by 2030. If successful, it would capture 20 percent of the world LNG market. Iran, which has the world’s second-largest natural-gas reserves, is also reviving plans for an LNG export terminal. If President Biden’s decision stands, our allies would be forced to turn to those hostile nations for their vital energy needs.

Even worse, China, by buying Russian gas at a discount, has given Russia a hand to evade Western sanctions and continue to fund its war in Ukraine. Iran, too, has been shipping nearly $3 billion worth of oil to China in defiance of U.S. sanctions. Iran uses this windfall to bankroll Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis, as the U.S. and our allies continue to be attacked in the Middle East.

The White House needs to wake up. If we really want to support our allies, we must stop giving our adversaries a leg up in energy markets. By unleashing an all-of-the-above energy strategy, we can create energy abundance and uphold our commitments to our friends.

To start, Congress must overturn President Biden’s disastrous LNG executive order. In February, Senator Barrasso introduced the LNG Security Act, which would hamper President Biden’s efforts to stop the construction and operation of new export terminals for American gas. It would also encourage more energy production at home by making the approval of new energy infrastructure more predictable and making federal lands and waters available for energy development, as the law already requires.

America must not sit back while our enemies weaponize energy against our allies. We’ve been energy dominant before, and we can be once again.

John Barrasso (R., Wyo.) is the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Russ Duerstine is the executive director of Concerned Veterans for America.