Texas Sues Over Natural Gas Ban

Liquid Natural Gas on a ship
Liquid Natural Gas on a ship | Image by Guttman Energy

Texas has joined 15 other states in filing a lawsuit against an executive order by President Joe Biden that bans all new exports of liquified natural gas.

The lawsuit seeks to reverse the executive order, which was issued by Biden in January, that pauses the approval of permits to export liquified natural gas (LNG) to non-Free Trade Agreement nations, as reported by The Dallas Express.

In addition to the lawsuit, legislation to reverse the ban is making its way through Congress, spearheaded by Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX). His bill, HR 7176, passed out of the House of Representatives in February and is currently before the Senate.

“President Biden has used every weapon and every tool available to him to make producing American energy more difficult,” Pfluger said in a statement. “His decision to ban future U.S. LNG exports is just the latest strike in his efforts to appease his radical climate interest groups who refuse to accept the reality that American energy is the cleanest, most secure option for the U.S. and our allies.”

Pfluger has also introduced legislation to repeal the natural gas tax that was applied through the Inflation Reduction Act. He has said the tax is inappropriate and unworkable and harms the economies of states like Texas, which are global leaders in LNG production while also being pioneers in reducing emissions.

“If implemented, the ill-conceived natural gas tax will handicap technological innovation, reduce supplies of affordable energy, and increase both costs and emissions,” Pfluger said in a press release. “In fact, this tax alone will drive up the cost of household energy bills for the 180 million Americans and 5.5 million businesses that rely on natural gas.”

Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham, who also joined the recent lawsuit, said the Biden administration was actively trying to harm Texans with its policy decisions.

“From our wide-open southern border to this latest move to kneecap our economy, it’s clear that our state, our commerce, and our families are in the crosshairs of the current administration. I will always stand up for the prosperity of Texas and Texans, even if that means taking the Biden Administration to court,” Buckingham said in a statement.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on March 8 to stop a new rule planned by the Environmental Protection Agency that would cause major disruptions to oil and gas production in the state.

“The EPA is once again trying to seize regulatory authority that Congress has not granted,” Paxton said in a press release.

“I am challenging this blatant overreach by the Biden Administration and will continue to defend vital sectors of the Texas economy,” Paxton added.

The Texas Oil and Natural Gas Association reports that the industry employs 1.4 million Texans directly or indirectly. Nearly 500,000 workers who are directly involved in the industry have an average salary of $115,302, per the FY 2022 report. The Association reports that oil and gas workers earn 40% more than other private sector employees.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana. Texas is joined by Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming in the suit.

Biden maintains that the pause on licensing LNG export permits is part of his climate change strategy, as previously reported by DX.

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