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Axios : Biden’s LNG pause tees up pre-election risks

February 19, 2024

President Biden’s decision to halt liquefied natural gas (LNG) export approvals has sparked political and business repercussions ahead of the 2024 election. The Energy Department’s freeze on new permits is being seen through the lens of the ongoing political rivalry between Biden and former President Trump. Capitol Hill is gearing up for inquiries, with Senate Energy Committee Chairman Joe Manchin planning a hearing, and House Republicans also expected to provide oversight.

Axios January 29, 2024: Biden’s LNG pause tees up pre-election risks

While the freeze won’t immediately halt the U.S. LNG export surge due to existing projects, it could have short-term commercial impacts, redirecting attention to approved U.S. projects. The lack of specifics from the White House and DOE about the probe’s scope has left many questions unanswered, with potential legal battles looming. The Private Equity Stakeholder Project views the pause as a warning to investors about the financial risks associated with LNG projects.

From Axios:

What they’re saying: A progressive private equity watchdog called the pause a warning to pension funds and other investors with exposure to LNG.

    • “With delays in issuing DOE permits, many of these proposed LNG terminals may not get built, despite hundreds of millions in pension capital tied up in them,” Nichole Heil of the Private Equity Stakeholder Project said in a statement.
    • “We encourage all investors to seriously consider the financial risks of having their capital tied up in these terminals,” adds Heil, whose group opposes LNG on climate grounds.”

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