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FLING LNG AWAY-Put a Period on LNG Exports

Put a Period on LNG Exports

 2023 was the hottest year in recorded history. It smashed all previous records for average global temperature, nearly reaching the 1.5° C temperature rise the Paris Climate accords had aspirationally hoped to prevent less than a decade ago. This warming brought with it increased alarm from climate scientists and activists, as well as devastating increased harm to the most vulnerable populations within America, and abroad. Biden, despite passing legislation earlier in his presidency gesturing towards a sustainable future, has, in the past year, ramped up approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, making the US the top global exporter of LNG. Natural gas, or methane, is dozens of times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide when heat trapping is measured in decades, rather than centuries. During these critical decades, when interventions will have an outsized effect on our climate trajectory, it makes the development, permitting and exploitation of these fossil fuel reserves all the more ludicrous.

 Thankfully, even as the temperature rises, people are rising to the occasion as well. There has been increasing activism and pressure on the Biden administration from youth climate groups and local organizers, especially in the affected extraction communities to reverse this path towards further exploitation of natural gas resources. There is little evidence that these fossil fuel sources can be extracted without massive methane leaks causing huge environmental damage both globally and locally. What’s more, even with no loss of LNG in the pipeline, the burned fuel still produces carbon dioxide, making truly green use of methane impossible. Finally, this past Friday, the Biden Administration responded by putting a pause on all future liquid natural gas exports (with the exception for national security interests). 

The decision has been welcomed by environmentalists and frontline communities, who have been rightly celebrating this development, and thanking Biden for listening to the people and climate science. While we can, and should, celebrate these victories, we must also recognize this is only a small step towards a sustainable future without fossil fuels. The carve out for national interests, in an increasingly violent geopolitical arena leave plenty of room for continued exports, without strict oversight, and what's more, this decision is only a pause, not new policy, meaning a new administration could easily reverse this decision.

 As election season ramps up, the urgency for action only grows. We must make sure that Democrats who support climate policy are encouraged to act more boldly for a sustainable future, while also working to ensure that in the event of an administrative change our meager progress isn’t entirely lost. With the fossil fuel industry’s endless campaign donations, we will need to build both economic and political power to ensure that from the Biden Administration down to local legislators understand that fighting for a greener, more environmentally friendly economy is what the people want. We must organize powerful cross-sector coalitions between, labor and environmentalists to ensure that this pause becomes permanent. Remembered as the turning point when America began ramping down it's fossil fuel exportation. Only with both political and economic power combined, wielded weekly by the people, for the people, will we have a chance of  leaving to our children and generations yet unborn a healthy and prosperous planet. So, join us each Tuesday in growing solidarity and don't shop on Tuesday! 

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