(StraightNews.org) – Senate Republicans have lashed out at President Biden over his decision to pause natural gas projects in the name of climate change. The White House announced it was postponing liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminal projects and introducing a new tax on the fossil fuel industry if methane emissions exceed a specified level.
The new rules will create a Waste Emissions Charge of $900 per metric ton of wasteful emissions, which will increase to $1,200 in 2025 and $1,500 from 2026 onward. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan said the Biden administration is determined to work with “companies and communities” to ensure America leads the world in the advancement of clean energy.
Republicans, however, say the policies empower America’s enemies and harm its allies in Europe and beyond. In a statement by GOP Senators, led by Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, the lawmakers said US exports enhance America’s geopolitical influence and “have a significant impact” on energy security in Europe and Asia.
Furthermore, the Republicans stated that limited LNG exports from the United States would do nothing to reduce global demand for gas but simply allow Russia and China to fill gaps in the market and create even higher emission levels.
President Biden ordered the export pause to allow for a review of their environmental impact, in a victory for climate activists, who have campaigned for just such a policy. Activists are also pressuring the President to block a major gas project in the Pacific Northwest.
A group of more than 140 climate organizations wrote to the EPA’s Michael Regan, saying the government must intervene and halt the Gas Transmission Northwest XPress Project (GTNXP). The $75 million project will provide enough power to run half a million homes in the region, but the climate groups say phasing out fossil fuel energy is “a policy imperative” and reminded Mr. Regan that President Biden has previously described climate change as “an existential threat.”
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