Washington, D.C. — The US is set to become the world's top exporter of liquefied fossil gas by 2023, on Biden's watch, according to a new analysis by environmental watchdog Global Witness. This stands in stark contrast to Biden's efforts to position himself as a global climate leader.
It shows that despite Biden’s climate rhetoric, the US is on track to flood the world with climate-wrecking liquefied fossil gas, also known as “liquefied natural gas” or LNG. On this trajectory, the US is set to replace Australia and Qatar as the top LNG exporter by 2023, and more than double its LNG exports with an increase of 121% over the next decade.
The analysis of data from Rystad Energy, one of the world’s leading energy research companies, shows that this is fueled by a boom in the amount of new gas set to come from the US over the next decade. Through 2030, the US is set to produce nearly five times as much new gas as the next largest producing country of Canada, and more than the rest of the world combined. Forecasted new gas production from Texas alone is more than any other country in the world.
Such a trajectory would blow the world past the agreed Paris Climate Agreement targets of limiting warming to under 1.5 degrees Celsius – an agreement to which Biden signed the US back onto as one of his first acts as president.
Numerous studies, including most recently from
the International Energy Agency, have shown that to be aligned with Paris
Agreement goals there can be no production from new gas fields. US gas
production would drop by two thirds over the next decade if no new fields were tapped
for production. Instead, in its current trajectory, total US gas production is
expected to increase by 17% over the next decade.
This week, the Build Back Fossil Free climate coalition is holding a major mobilization, People Vs. Fossil Fuels, calling on Biden to stop approving fossil fuel projects and declare a national climate emergency that will launch a just, renewable energy revolution.
“Biden cannot simultaneously claim global authority on tackling the climate crisis while peddling mountains of climate-wrecking gas around the world,” says Zorka Milin, senior advisor at Global Witness. “This trajectory would lead to irreversible climate damage and harm our communities that bear the brunt of these polluting projects. So far, the administration has appeared content to follow in Trump’s disastrous footsteps when it comes to pro-gas policies. This is Biden’s chance to live up to the climate promises that helped carry him into office and put people ahead of polluters’ profits. His climate legacy depends on whether he now shows true climate leadership by swiftly phasing out fossil gas exports.”
This catastrophic gas expansion would undermine
Biden’s rhetoric on environmental justice. The report documents how fossil gas
infrastructure is located disproportionately near communities of color, and its
export relies on projects that pose major health, safety, and environmental
risks to communities near gas extraction, transmission, and liquefaction sites.
Global Witness urges the Biden administration to end support for US gas exports through an urgent phase-out of gas export approvals from the Department of Energy. Biden should also ensure environmental justice for Black, Indigenous, and marginalized communities in the US that suffer disproportionately from gas expansion, and end diplomatic support for US gas deals abroad.