Press Release
CSOs call on Biden to stop all LNG and related fossil fuel infrastructure permits

CSOs call on Biden to stop all LNG and related fossil fuel infrastructure permits

BENIN CITY, NIGERIA. February 19, 2024… In the face of rising temperatures amid climate crisis, the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has endorsed a letter along with other Civil Society Organisations across the globe calling on the U.S. President, Joe Biden to expand the paused approvals for pending and future applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG)from new projects to include stopping all LNG and related fossil fuel infrastructure permits across all U.S. federal agencies and institute a robust and democratic public comment period as part of the Department of Energy public interest review. 

Acting ANEEJ Executive Director, Leo Atakpu noted in a statement that the United States of America need to lead the world in the implementation and enforcement of the Paris Climate Agreement and the letter is part of an effort to both stop LNG exports in the US and LNG imports in Europe.

The letter reads in part “for too long, the fossil fuel industry has had a destructive grip on our governments. Since at least the 1970s, they have known about the harms of fossil fuels and dangers of climate change, and yet they covered it up. Government action has promoted this industry, including over the past decade when U.S. federal policy led to a fivefold increase in U.S. gas exports, fueled by a dramatic increase in fracking and a massive build out of infrastructure.

“In a short period, the United States went from exporting almost no LNG in 2016 to becoming the world’s top LNG exporter. The fossil fuel industry’s proposed LNG buildout would be astronomical, further jeopardizing our climate and communities. Taken together, if the pending projects were approved, gas exports would rise to 60% of current U.S. gas production, with an emissions impact of LNG exports from the United States alone exceeding that of the entire European Union.” 

The CSOs further noted that “any new development of LNG and associated infrastructure is antithetical to your recognition of climate change as an existential threat to all of us, and your commitment to environmental justice. The best evidence demonstrates that LNG exports are at minimum 24% worse than coal for our climate, given the methane and other emissions associated with the entire life cycle of drilling, fracking, and then liquefaction and transportation. 

“Beyond the disastrous climate impacts, the risks and impacts of LNG to public health, the environment, and energy costs are considerable, as your administration has rightly noted. Indeed, there is extensive documentation of health, environmental, and public safety impacts of fracking and LNG, with harms ranging from increasing risk of respiratory illness, cancers, increasing infant mortality, and more. Many of these impacts and harms disproportionately affect Black, Brown, Indigenous and low-income frontline communities. Additionally, exporting LNG serves to increase domestic energy costs.” 

It would be recalled that the U.S. President Joe Biden last Friday paused approvals for pending and future applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG)from new projects, a move cheered by climate activists that could delay decisions on new plants until after the Nov. 5 election. In taking the action, Biden noted, “the climate crisis is the existential threat of our time.”

 The Department of Energy (DOE) will conduct a review during the pause that will look at the economic and environmental impacts of projects seeking approval to export LNG to Europe and Asia where the fuel is in hot demand.

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