Science Group Welcomes Reports that Biden Administration Intends to Pause on Massive New Fossil Gas Export Terminal, Urges Rejection

Statement by Chitra Kumar, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Jan 25, 2024

Media Contact

WASHINGTON—According to news reports, the Biden administration may soon announce it is pausing its decision, pending further evaluation, on whether to grant approval for a massive new fossil gas export terminal in southwest Louisiana. This particular project, called Calcasieu Pass 2 or CP2, has received widespread condemnation by fenceline and frontline groups, as well as environmental, religious, and science organizations, given it would greatly increase harmful air pollution to nearby communities and contribute to a significant increase in heat-trapping emissions.

Below is a statement by Chitra Kumar, the managing director for the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

“Assuming the news reports are accurate, it’s welcome news that the Biden administration is hitting pause on this massive LNG export terminal to fully evaluate its potential to damage the climate and environment. There’s no question that a proper accounting of these harms would make clear that this project—and others like it in the United States—are definitely not in the public interest. With the climate crisis rapidly worsening and given long-standing environmental injustices from the production and use of fossil fuels, the nation must chart a path toward a fast, fair phaseout of these polluting fuels and ramp up clean energy solutions.

“The science is unequivocal: nations will not be able to collectively limit the worst climate harms if the world’s largest emitting countries continue to build out huge, long-lived fossil fuel infrastructure. A sharp turn away from fossil fuels in this critical decade and beyond is paramount to meeting global climate goals and building a healthier, safer and more just world. Getting there will require the Biden administration and other world leaders to stop facilitating the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, and instead embrace and increase the use of proven clean energy solutions.

“The disingenuous and self-serving pushback from the fossil fuel industry in the wake of news reports about this possible action is an unambiguous indication that they will continue to prioritize dubious profits over the health and safety of fenceline and frontline communities and our global climate system.

“UCS calls on the administration to stand up to industry pressure and confirm they will, as reported, do a full evaluation of the harms of this project. Further, we urge them to heed the latest science and the resounding voice of the communities harmed most by environmental injustices and heat-trapping emissions from fossil fuels by rejecting the CP2 application.”

In addition to Kumar, UCS has the following experts on staff available for interviews on this topic:

  • Dr. Rachel Cleetus, the policy director and lead economist for the Climate and Energy Program at UCS. She is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Click here for her biography.  
  • Julie McNamara, the deputy policy director for the Climate and Energy Program at UCS. She is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Click here for her biography.
  • Laura Peterson, a corporate analyst and advocate for the accountability campaign at UCS. She is based in Washington, D.C. Click here for her biography.

UCS experts have extensive experience doing live and taped TV, radio, and print interviews with international, national and state media outlets. If you have any questions or would like to arrange an interview with one of our experts, please contact UCS Climate and Energy Media Manager Ashley Siefert Nunes.

Additional Resources:

  • A letter signed by more than 150 organizations, including UCS, urging the U.S. Department of Energy to reject the application for CP2.
  • UCS’ position supporting a fast and fair phaseout of fossil fuels across the globe.
  • A blogpost by McNamara, “New Global Energy Market Risk: War Pushes Overreliance on U.S. LNG in Path of Climate-Amped Hurricanes.”