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What we're watching: Dems' LNG wriggling

Feb 29, 2024
Illustration of cylindrical gas storage containers painted with exclamation points.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

We're starting to see vulnerable Democrats wriggling beneath the difficult politics of President Biden's LNG export permit pause.

Why it matters: Republicans are plotting hard messaging votes that may split Dems away from Biden's position ... and from what climate voters want.

Driving the news: A raft of Democrats are working with lawmakers across the aisle to try and block the pause on new permits for export terminals.

  • What we're watching next is who will vote against Biden in the Senate, given the thin Democratic majority at stake in the November elections.
  • Bob Casey, who is up for re-election in the fracking state of Pennsylvania, left the door open to voting in favor of undoing the pause, in a short hallway interview.
  • "I'm most concerned about what happens to Pennsylvania, especially Pennsylvania jobs," he told Axios. "We don't know what will be proposed on the floor. We'll see that when and if there's something on the floor."

What's next: It appears likely we'll see at least one LNG-centric vote brought to the floor through the appropriations process, as we've previously reported.

  • Not to mention the messaging bill Sen. Bill Cassidy introduced Thursday that would undo what Biden did. The House passed a bill targeting the pause earlier this month.

Between the lines: Sherrod Brown, who is also up for re-election in a fracking state, put out a bill Thursday that would ban LNG exports to China — which feels like a counter-messaging play.

  • His main cosponsor is Jeff Merkley, who helped lead the push for the pause on the Senate side.
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