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House LNG bill provides tea leaves aplenty

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Feb 15, 2024
LNG terminal under construction in Texas

The Golden Pass LNG plant under construction in Texas. Photo: Julia Naue/picture alliance via Getty Images

The House passed its anti-LNG pause bill on Thursday with support from Democrats.

Why it matters: The bill's vote provided tea leaves on today's politics surrounding gas — even though there's little chance of movement beyond this point.

Driving the news: The House passed the "Unlocking our Domestic LNG Potential Act" by a vote of 224-200.

  • Nine Democrats voted for the bill, including the usual mod squad suspects, such as Jared Golden, Jim Costa and Henry Cuellar.
  • It's a relatively small number of defections, indicating that members are interested in holding their fire toward President Biden on the LNG pause.

Zoom in: The bill would put FERC in charge of approving the types of LNG export terminals currently being paused and determine them to be in the national interest.

  • As you may recall, what DOE did was specifically pause approvals for terminals to export LNG to non-free trade agreement nations.
  • This pause is supposed to allow DOE time to review whether the exports are in the national interest — so the bill would essentially make what DOE is doing moot.

What they're saying: Raúl Grijalva, a progressive backing the pause, said he believes supporting Biden's re-election bid will give activists the opportunity to make sure DOE's action sticks.

  • "We've got to keep the pressure up," Max Frost told Axios.

What's next: More hearings, letters and impassioned statements on all sides of this fight.

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