A review of U.S. LNG that the Energy Department will conduct during a pause on new permits should weigh the impact of gas exports on the development of the emerging green hydrogen market, an administration official told Reuters on Wednesday.
The DOE’s review will look at the economic and environmental impacts of projects seeking approval to export liquefied natural gas to Europe and Asia where the fuel is in demand. The review will require “months of work, not years of work,” a Biden administration official told Reuters.
Last month, President Joe Biden said the DOE would halt approvals for pending and future applications to export LNG from new projects amid strong pressure from environmental groups and local communities in gas-exporting regions, sparking heavy criticism from the U.S. oil and gas industry who said the move would jeopardize energy security for U.S. allies in the EU.
The official said the U.S. is not “concerned at all” about the U.S.’ ability to meet current European demand and said European nations are rapidly “destroying their own demand for gas.”
EU officials said last week that Europe has enough gas supply for the next 10 years.
The official said a new review was needed because the last thorough analysis of LNG market was done nearly a decade ago, when LNG importers had been more dependent on coal and used gas to back out the heavier emitting fuel.
Now that less coal is being used in the EU and elsewhere, the US needs to analyze whether more U.S. LNG exports may impede the take-up of green hydrogen, a lower emission alternative.
(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici and Jeff Mason; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Franklin Paul)