The US is set to become the world's top exporter of liquefied fossil gas by 2023, on Biden’s watch, a new Global Witness analysis finds. This stands in stark contrast to Biden’s efforts to position himself as a global climate leader.
- Download the full report (2.2 MB), pdf
Last year, President Biden was elected on a wave of youth-led support from citizens concerned about the climate crisis, who pushed him to make stronger climate pledges. His victory gave many people in the US and around the world a glimmer of hope that under his leadership, the country would turn over a new leaf and reverse course from the damaging policies of the previous US administration under Donald Trump. Since coming to power, Biden has sought to position himself and the US as a global climate leader, re-joining the UN Paris Climate Agreement and hosting multiple international climate leadership summits.
Disappointingly, our new analysis shows that notwithstanding
the official US rhetoric on climate, Biden’s administration is continuing some
of the same anti-climate policies of the Trump administration, which continue
to drive record-breaking growth in US fossil fuel extraction and export. Our
analysis shows that, contrary to Biden’s claims of climate leadership, the
troubling trend of the US fossil gas boom is currently set to continue on
Our latest analysis of data from Rystad Energy, one of the world’s leading energy research companies, takes a closer look at the US extraction and export of gas – the world’s fastest growing fossil fuel.
Biden must change course on fossil gas
There can be no excuse for the US to continue on this misguided path. It is abundantly clear that any production of gas or oil from new fields is incompatible with the Paris climate goals, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), echoing previous analyses by Oil Change International, Global Witness and others. When the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released its latest assessment of the state of the climate crisis, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres described it as “code red for humanity” and warned that “This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet.”
If the Biden administration continues to ignore these stark
scientific warnings and chooses to preside over a record gas boom, it will
overshadow any claim to climate leadership. Unless the current US
administration urgently changes course, its lasting legacy will be to push the
world irrevocably towards climate catastrophe. It would also leave marginalized
communities in the US exposed to disproportionate pollution and health impacts
from the fossil gas industry. This runs counter to President Biden’s stated
commitment to fighting for environmental justice, which he claims is critical
to his domestic climate agenda.
Download the full report here, which includes:
- Part I: First to pay the high price of
gas extraction and export are marginalized domestic communities, particularly
communities of color along the Gulf Coast where a whole slew of gas export
terminals and other infrastructure is being built.
- Part II: The rest of the world also stands to suffer from being locked into fossil fuel dependence for decades to come, at a time when renewable alternatives are not only readily available, but in many places cheaper than gas.
- Part III: Past US
administrations have acted as advocates for the industry’s interests at the
expense of people and the planet.
- Part IV: But it doesn’t have to be this
way. The Biden administration now has the opportunity to chart a fresh approach
to tackling the problem of the world’s fastest growing fossil fuel, and
establish its climate credentials by reversing course from past mistakes.
President Biden can live up to his climate and environmental justice promises by Building Back Fossil Free at home and abroad. This includes:
- phasing out gas export approvals,
- stopping approvals of gas export infrastructure,
- ending diplomatic support for US gas deals abroad,
- ensuring environmental justice for Black, Indigenous and other marginalized communities, and
- delivering a just transition for workers in the US fossil fuel industry.