API, others appeal LNG pause

Filing with DOE calls pause unlawful

The American Petroleum Institute (API) and several other industry groups applied for a rehearing on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) indefinite pause on new and pending liquefied natural gas (LNG) permit approvals for non-Free Trade Agreement countries.

In the legal filing submitted to DOE, API argued the pause is unlawful, violating both the Natural Gas Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, and that it erodes America’s energy advantage by threatening U.S. jobs, national security and environmental progress. The API was joined by American Exploration & Production Council, Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, Energy Workforce & Technology Council, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, National Association of Manufacturers and the US LNG Association.

The American Petroleum Institute and other industry groups, in a filing with DOE, claim the Biden Administration’s pause on new LNG export approvals is illegal,

“At a time of geopolitical turmoil around the world, the Department of Energy’s arbitrary LNG freeze is not only unlawful – it cedes America’s energy advantage to hostile nations while jeopardizing thousands of American jobs,” API Vice President of Natural Gas Markets Rob Jennings said. “U.S. LNG is a cornerstone of global energy security, and its benefits – which include bolstering the American economy, reducing global emissions and strengthening our national security – are well-established. There is bipartisan recognition that this move is political, and we will continue to take any steps necessary to resume American leadership on LNG.”

In the filing, API argues that DOE’s pause contradicts the clear mandate of the Natural Gas Act for DOE to issue LNG export permits to non-FTA countries absent a finding that it is not in the public interest. The indefinite pause also violates the Administrative Procedure Act’s requirement for DOE to act “within a reasonable time.” API went on criticize the LNG export pause as “arbitrary and capricious,” highlighting DOE’s failure to provide a justification for changing its longstanding position. API noted that DOE implemented the pause without prior notice or the ability to comment as required by the Administrative Procedure Act. 

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