The current economic and environmental analyses used by the US Department of Energy to confirm LNG export permits are nearly five years old and no longer adequately account for issues such as potential energy cost increases or recent assessments of the impact of greenhouse gas emissions, the White House said in a statement.

The statement said the Biden administration has temporarily halted pending approvals for LNG exports to non-Free Trade Agreement countries until the US Department of Energy updates its baseline analysis for these permits.

Noting that the US is already the world's number one LNG exporter and the country's LNG exports are targeted to double in 10 years, the statement noted that the decision will not affect the ability of the US to continue supplying LNG to its allies in the short term. In the statement, it was reminded that last year, about half of the US LNG exports were made to Europe.


In his written statement on the subject, US President Biden said, "In this process, we will examine in depth the effects of LNG exports on energy costs, America's energy security and our environment."

In addition, in a statement made by the US Department of Energy, it was reported that the process will be initiated to "update the evaluations used in the analysis of whether additional LNG export permit requests for non-Free Trade Agreement countries are in the public interest".

The temporary pause in pending applications will not affect currently authorized exports, the statement said, emphasizing that the decision will not affect the US's supply to its allies in Europe and Asia and other currently authorized buyers.

Climate activists argue that new LNG projects could harm local communities through pollution, make global dependence on fossil fuels unchangeable for decades, and lead to emissions from leakage of combustion gases and the potent greenhouse gas methane.