Pennsylvania governor urges Biden administration to limit time on LNG export ban

Mark Niquette and Skylar Woodhouse, Bloomberg March 01, 2024

(Bloomberg) – Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro said the Biden administration’s recent halt in liquefied natural gas (LNG) export licenses should be limited in time, stopping short of outright criticizing a pause that could undermine job creation in a state that’s relying on energy to drive growth.

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro

Pennsylvania is the second-largest natural gas-producing state after Texas, with more than 123,000 jobs in the commonwealth supported by the sector, according to the Marcellus Shale Coalition and the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association.

“It’s my hope that that pause is limited and that their focus of whatever analysis they’re going to do is centered around making sure we create jobs in the energy space in Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said in an interview in Harrisburg, the state’s capital.

The Biden administration in January halted new licenses to export U.S. LNG while it scrutinizes how the shipments affect climate change, the economy and national security.

Administration officials haven’t said precisely how long the pause may be, but White House energy adviser Amos Hochstein said in an interview with Al Arabiya English posted on X on Feb. 16 it could last between 10 and 14 months.

Pennsylvania Senate Democrats Bob Casey and John Fetterman have been more pointed in their criticism, saying in a joint statement last month “if this decision puts Pennsylvania energy jobs at risk, we will push the Biden administration to reverse this decision.”

Shapiro said he’s an “all-of-the-above energy governor,” referring to developing and using a variety of energy resources while focusing on health and safety. He’s also singled out energy as a key driver of growth in a recently unveiled, multi-year economic development strategy, the first such comprehensive plan in almost two decades in the commonwealth.

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