The Biden Energy Policy That Punishes Friends and Rewards Enemies

Written by Jack Elbaum

What’s happening: In January, the Biden administration paused all new liquified natural gas (LNG) export projects.

  • Context: The U.S. has the world’s largest LNG export capacity, and global demand is expected to rise 46 percent by 2050 — thus raising questions about Biden’s decision.

Motives: Biden defended the pause, asserting that climate change is “the existential threat of our time.” However, reports suggest that the administration was heavily pressured by billionaire donors and TikTok climate activists.

  • Inconsistent policy: During his term, Biden expanded drilling projects to counter rising gas prices while simultaneously limiting them to appease climate activists, resulting in an incoherent energy policy.

  • Beyond the headlines: Pausing LNG export projects will hurt red states like Texas, a fact some suggest is by design as punishment for fighting Biden’s immigration policy.

Geopolitical consequences: The U.S. retreat from LNG creates opportunities for Russia, China, and Qatar to expand market dominance. Just one month after Biden announced the pause, Qatar revealed that it would expand LNG production by 85 percent before 2030 — a move that could garner a 25 percent market share in the near future.

Why it matters: A dramatic decline in American LNG exports could oust the U.S. from the top spot and harm its strategic and economic position in both absolute and relative terms.

  • Alienating the base: Biden’s jumbled approach to energy also risks alienating a core constituency of his supporters who want complete divestment from fossil fuels.

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