Biden Sides with Big Oil Barons and Wall Street in EU Gas Deal

Exporting U.S. LNG Bad for Consumers and Climate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Biden today announced a short-sighted deal to supply the European Union with U.S. liquified methane gas exports, potentially locking in decades of climate pollution and failing to alleviate the crisis in Ukraine. 

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, in a closed door meeting at the White House with other oil and gas barons, lobbied for expanded methane gas production, export capacity, and import capacity in Europe as part of a new fossil fuel ‘Marshall Plan.’ Under Dimon, the bank has been Russia’s number one fossil fuel financier, providing over $3.5 billion in loans and underwriting to the Russian fossil fuel sector.

Kate DeAngelis, international finance program manager at Friends of the Earth, said this:

President Biden is going to regret siding with Big Oil and Wall Street over communities and the climate. Betting on liquified methane gas is akin to driving on a bridge to nowhere. The window is rapidly closing to end our addiction to climate-changing fossil fuel resources, yet President Biden is propping up the industry that caused this mess. We need a Marshall Plan for renewable energy, not more of the same. 

LNG exports from the U.S. compete with domestic use of gas, significantly increasing prices paid for by businesses and families, of which the hardest hit are low income and BIPOC communities. Although the U.S. recently became the largest exporter of LNG, there are 16 more export terminals that have been approved but not yet constructed. President Biden’s announcement recklessly opens the door to finance these facilities potentially from public sources like the U.S. Export-Import Bank and other export credit agencies

Background:

  • Lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from LNG development, liquefaction, and export would make the proposal among the most carbon intensive development deals in the world in recent history. In addition to methane releases, massive energy is required to liquefy methane gas for export, rivaling only coal in its emissions intensity over its lifecycle.
  • LNG export terminals typically take up to at least 3 to 4 years to complete and sometimes longer, meaning there would be no short term solution to the current shortages European consumers are facing. Additionally, European regasification import terminals are already near or at capacity. Renewable energy systems, particularly distributed ones, are far more dispatchable in the short run and new renewable energy sources are already reducing gas demand in Europe and, as a result, providing consumers greater price predictability.  In fact, a new study found that renewables can supplant the majority of Europe’s current Russian gas imports by 2025.
  • Gas exports are a significant contributor to increased gas heating bills facing U.S. households, with bills forecasted to be 30% higher this winter (and 54% higher for households using propane and 43% more for heating oil).

 

Communications contact: Kerry Skiff, [email protected], 202-222-0723

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