A Federal Judge Drop Kicked POTATUS' LNG Ban

Tim Sullivan/Alaska Railroad via AP

This past Monday, a federal judge in Louisiana did something that went relatively unheralded with all the post-debate brouhaha about our vegetable-in-chief and, to a lesser extent, the SCOTUS immunity ruling which also dropped the same morning.


Judge James Cain of the Western District of Lousiana put the Biden administration's pause on new permits for liquid natural gas (LNG) exports on hold.

A federal judge in Louisiana on Monday put the Energy Department’s pause on natural gas export permits on hold, dealing another legal blow to the Biden administration’s climate agenda.

Judge James Cain of the Western District of Louisiana, a Trump appointee, granted a request for a stay from 16 red states that had challenged the pause, arguing it will harm their economies.

The decision to stay the LNG pause upends one of Joe Biden’s major policy nods to climate-focused activists who have accused the president of not doing enough to mitigate planet-warming emissions despite Democrats passing the largest investment in climate in history via the Inflation Reduction Act.

Back in January, in the middle of Houthi attacks, LNG gas shortages throughout Europe, and the start of the diversion of Red Sea shipping putting even more pressure on delivery avenues, POTATUS bowed to climate cult pressure and inexplicably issued a pause on new permits for LNG exporters. It was also a huge blow to American gas and oil producers who were spooling up to answer the call to be Europe's reliable supplier of choice.

There's nothing like yanking the rug out from under everyone at the worst possible moment and when needed most, but that's how our mushroom rolls.


...Until wars blew up and so did pipelines, and then pressure came from the president of the United States to eschew dealing with the big, bad Russkies for vital LNG deliveries. Why bother, Joe Biden said, when the United States had more than what they needed and could make up the difference? Trust us me. I’ve got you covered.

Even with more delivery disturbances in the region because of Houthis causing shipping to divert from the Red Sea…

Europe exposed to gas supply risk from extended Red Sea shut-in: Rystad Energy
Some 15.5 million tonnes of LNG was sent through the Red Sea to Europe last year, or 13% of the continent’s LNG supply

Industry observers have warned that a prolonged shut-in of the crucial Red Sea route to international shipping would pose a gas supply risk to Europe, which is increasingly looking at liquefied natural gas supplies from the Middle East region...

Everything and anything's justifiable if you use the words "young people," "MAGA," "existential," and "climate."

...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.

While MAGA Republicans willfully deny the urgency of the climate crisis, condemning the American people to a dangerous future, my Administration will not be complacent. We will not cede to special interests.

We will heed the calls of young people and frontline communities who are using their voices to demand action from those with the power to act. And as America has always done, we will turn crisis into opportunity – creating clean energy jobs, improving quality of life, and building a more hopeful future for our children.


What a load of malarkey.

In March, 16 state attorneys general got together and sued POTATUS and the hapless goobers he has running his energy policy.


The State of Louisiana, along with the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming bring this civil action against the above-listed Defendants for declaratory and injunctive relief and allege as follows: 


1. President Biden began his presidency by issuing an unlawful moratorium on offshore and onshore oil-and-gas leasing. Louisiana v. Biden, 622 F. Supp. 3d 267 (W.D. La. 2022). Almost three years to the day later, his administration followed the same playbook to unlawfully ban new liquified natural gas (LNG) exports. On January 26, 2024, President Biden and the Department of Energy decided to stop all new approvals of LNG exports to non-Free-Trade-Agreement countries effective immediately—what the media has termed the “LNG Export Ban.”...

On Monday in LA, they prevailed. Judge Cain went well beyond the usual "without merit" in his decision and into "don't have a leg to stand on - doesn't make a lick of sense" and "diametrically opposed to the public good" territory, spanking the Department of Energy's overstepping of their regulatory authority for good measure.


Take that, Granholm.

...Judge Cain, from Louisiana, wrote in his 62-page decision that the policy was “completely without reason or logic” and argued any proposed LNG export “is in the public interest.” 

“LNG exports are governed by the Natural Gas Act (‘NGA’), the purpose of which is to ‘encourage the orderly development of plentiful supplies of electricity and natural gas at reasonable prices,’ ” Cain continued. “The DOE’[s] regulatory authority extends only to imports and exports of natural gas, that is, the act of transporting natural gas to and from the United States. It does not extend upstream to production and downstream to consumption.”

Judge Cain also noted how schizophrenic the administration's own filings were.

...Yesterday’s ruling particularly highlighted the challengers’ argument that the January 2024 ban inexplicably breaks with both historical precedent and the legal requirements for the approval process of LNG export licenses. The Court stated that it is “confused” by the decision to halt the approval process given the Natural Gas Act’s “express language that applications are to be processed expeditiously”—and given the rejection of a petition for a functionally identical ban only a few months prior. Notably, when the Department of Energy dismissed that petition in July 2023, it stated that there is “no factual or legal basis” for “halt[ing] approval of pending applications to export LNG.”

The Court concluded its ruling by finding that the challengers to the ban are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim.



That's the Biden administration in a nutshell, the operative word being "nuts."

The other interesting wrinkle adding heft to Judge Cain's decision was SCOTUS vacating the Chevron doctrine last week. Had the judge already finished his write-up? What part will the SCOTUS Chevron decision - stripping these bureaucratic authoritarians of the power they wielded for so long - play going forward?

If it's up to the climate cultists - and remember, this is an election year - they're already rooting for POTATUS to blow the court off on this as he's done with everything else.

The Sierra Club, a vociferous and enthusiastic proponent of the January pause, is one of the more strident voices now encouraging our mush-brained hero to do an end-run around SCOTUS.


...Who cares what a court says? Not the Sierra Club, which says the judge’s ruling doesn’t compel the Administration “to issue any specific decisions.” In other words, the Administration can continue to slow-walk reviews, as it has been doing.

...Democrats fret that Donald Trump will ignore court rulings, but the Biden Administration defies them left and right. A federal judge in June 2021 ordered the Administration to resume quarterly oil and gas lease sales as required under federal law. It didn’t hold its first auction until June 2022 and waited another year to hold a second.

Progressives have no credibility when they warn about an imperial Trump Presidency after encouraging a lawless Biden Administration.


There's gonna be a tussle if the administration tries to dance around this.

Now, one would think that in the midst of all the doddering old man controversy, with every eye in the world on every utterance, every social media release, every step to Marine One, POTATUS' crack White House team could go the extra mile to get things done right. Double-check every detail. Circle the defensive wagons.

Help the old fart out, you know?

Doesn't seem like they're in it to win it. 

They really must want this guy gone.

Welcome to our world, kiddies.

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