Biden Hits Pause on LNG
President Biden pauses approvals for approvals for new liquefied natural gas terminals, marking a big win for the climate
In This Issue
City of Chicago hiring Project Managers for Dept of Environment
YouTube Climate Deniers Changing Tactics
350 Chicago Launching Outreach Committee
Message from the Coalition to Stop CO2 pipelines
President Biden Pauses LNG Exports
City of Chicago Hiring Project Managers for Newly Reformed Dept of Environment
Looking to help the city of Chicago get their newly reformed Department of Environment up and running? The city is looking to hire four Project Manager positions. Applications accepted until 11:59 pm CDT on Tuesday January 30th.
YouTube Climate Deniers Are Adopting New Strategies
A new report from CBS News (here) highlights a report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate on climate change skeptics on YouTube. According to the report, arguments which attempt to dismiss climate change outright are less and less convincing to audiences (unsurprising considering the constant, overwhelming evidence of damage from climate change). Instead, skeptics are attacking how serious the problem is or attacking scientists and the science behind particular solutions.
Misinformation around climate has become an increasingly serious issue, and 350 Chicago has been combating this through speakers hosted by our Communications and Education Committee. Stay tuned to hear of our upcoming speakers, and you can find videos of previous speakers on our YouTube page here.
350 Chicago is Launching Outreach Committee
The 350 Chicago Outreach Committee is reforming and recruiting new volunteers. The first meeting will be on January 31st at 7:00 PM. In the past, Outreach teams from 350 Chicago have tabled at festivals, farmers markets, businesses and environmental events, as well as hosted happy hours and coffee hours to talk to attendees about the activities and work of our organization. If you are interested in joining, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
State bills seek to urgently regulate CO2 Pipelines in Illinois
by Whitney Richardson, Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines
The Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines asks you to take time this week to write a letter to your state senator and representative, asking each to cosponsor the Carbon Dioxide Transport and Protections Act, which will be introduced in Committee as soon as February 10. Why contact them now? We need to:
Educate our legislators about the bill and the issues it addresses in advance of the committee hearings (namely how it will protect Illinois residents from the risks and potential harms of CO2 pipelines and sequestration) and,
Get your senator and representative ready to co-sponsor, which helps show there is strong support for this bill.
This is a pressing legislative issue as private companies look to Illinois for its CO2 storage potential, peddling carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) as "solutions" to the climate crisis. Absent regulations, there is a mountain of associated risks that must be addressed.
President Biden Hits the Pause Button on LNG Export Approvals
by Joshua Horwitz
President Biden has issued a statement announcing a temporary pause on approvals for construction of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects. The decision affects the approval of the largest LNG terminal in the US, located in Louisiana, and affects 16 other proposed terminals (details from the NY Times here). This decision now requires the Energy Department to consider climate change in its approval process, which has not previously been a considering in the approval process for these sorts of facilities.
My Administration is announcing today a temporary pause on pending decisions of Liquefied Natural Gas exports – with the exception of unanticipated and immediate national security emergencies. During this period, we will take a hard look at the impacts of LNG exports on energy costs, America’s energy security, and our environment. This pause on new LNG approvals sees the climate crisis for what it is: the existential threat of our time.
- Statement by the Biden White House, January 26, 2024
This is a crucial step by the Biden administration to halt the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure. It’s also an acknowledgement of the work climate activists have put in to push the president to quicken our pace in making bold steps towards climate action, and move our country away from its reliance on fossil fuels.
The Biden administration has a mixed record on climate: the administration has put significant resources being into the clean energy transition through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA Guidebook: Clean Energy), though they have also approved or failed to block other large expansions of the fossil fuel infrastructure, most notably the Willow Project (which we previously discussed in this newsletter here).
Bill McKibben, climate activist and co-founder of 350.org, noted on his newsletter The Crucial Years: “This is the biggest check any president has ever applied to the fossil fuel industry, and the strongest move against dirty energy in American history.”
The backlash from climate deniers, Fox News, and those in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry have been predictable. For example, former Texas Governor and former Energy Secretary Rick Perry (also known for wanting to abolish an unclear number of government agencies during his 2011 presidential bid, and his deep ties to the fossil fuel industry) got on CNBC to attack the decision, claiming among other things that the decision will lead to coal plants coming back online. This has been a consistent argument across conservative platforms in recent days: an attempt to paint the decision as counter-productive environmentally and to hail LNG and gas fuel as a ‘bridge fuel’ that is better than other alternatives for climate, most notably coal. This of course is just more climate misinformation. Studies have shown that LNG may actually be even worse for climate change than coal, and neither energy source is a realistic solution to the increasingly imminent problem of climate change.
Props to the Biden administration: this decision marks a critical step on putting the Biden administration on the right side of history and it’s an important step in protecting our planet for future generations.