Attorney General Knudsen files lawsuit against Biden’s unlawful ban on LNG exports

Attorney General Knudsen files lawsuit against Biden’s unlawful ban on LNG exports

HELENA – Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, along with 15 other attorneys general, filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Biden administration’s ban on new liquified natural gas (LNG) exports.

In January, President Biden and the Department of Energy halted all new approvals of LNG exports to non-Free-Trade Agreement countries, jeopardizing Montana’s production, storage, and transportation of natural gas which will cost Montanans jobs and hurt the state’s economy. The decision ignores the clear text of the Natural Gas Act and departs from decades of agency policy.

“Not only will the LNG Export Ban cause Plaintiff States direct harm such as loss of jobs and revenue streams tied to LNG, but it will also have detrimental ripple effects on their economies and communities,” the attorneys general wrote in the lawsuit. “The LNG Export Ban has and will continue to decrease investment in the natural gas industry and infrastructure, leading to decreased production and loss of specific tax revenues for Plaintiff States.”

The Biden administration’s decision will have a big impact on Montana’s economy. The ban slows down the shale gas boom that has provided more than 13,000 jobs for Montanans and contributed more than $7.4 billion dollars to the state’s economy in 2023. Last year, the three export pipelines paid more than $11.5 million dollars in taxes.

The ban does not align with the Natural Gas Act of 1938, which established that natural gas exports are in the best interest of the public. Furthermore, in 2023 an environmental coalition asked Biden’s Department of Energy to ban LNG exports and was denied based on a lack of factual or legal basis for what an LNG export ban does, acknowledging “There is no factual or legal basis” for halting approval of LNG exports.

Attorney General Knudsen joined attorneys general from the following states in the Louisiana led lawsuit: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Click here to read the lawsuit.


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