Rebekah Staub, Permian-Gulf Communications Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON — Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) alongside the house sponsors of the bill, Representatives Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and Yvette Clark (D-NY), reintroduced the Block All New (BAN) Fossil Fuel Exports Act, legislation to amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act and ban exporting American crude oil and liquified methane gas (LNG) abroad. Endorsed by 70 organizations, the legislation provides clear Congressional support for rejecting fossil fuel exports as the Biden Administration repeatedly breaks climate and environmental justice promises by approving toxic fossil fuel projects.
“We are here to voice our support for the BAN Oil Exports Act. We have seen how repealing the ban has failed to live up to the promises of bringing down domestic energy prices and job creation,” said Elida Castillo, program director of Chispa Texas. “Instead, it has accelerated the climate crisis and hurt any progress towards environmental justice. We thank Senator Markey for taking the lead to protect our communities, resources, and planet.”
This legislation would stop the unprecedented build-out of crude oil and LNG export facilities along the U.S. Gulf Coast and slow record-breaking oil production in the Permian Basin. The spread of wells, pipelines, export terminals, tank farms and petrochemical facilities from the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast is the result of Congress lifting the crude oil export ban in 2015 and the fossil fuel industry racing to make record profits at the expense of long-suffering, low-income, Black, Brown and Indigenous communities and the climate.
“We are sick and tired of the hypocrisy from this administration,” said Gwen Jones, resident of the displaced East End community in Freeport. “Biden can’t keep claiming to care about climate and environmental justice while allowing more of these projects that put our lives at risk. Prove to us that you will prioritize the health and safety of people and our planet over fossil fuel industry profits.”
While proponents of fossil fuel export expansion claim additional exports are necessary to support our allies in Ukraine, new export terminals will not be operational in time to address nations currently in distress and most exports are actually not being directed to Europe. A wave of 31 LNG export terminals have been proposed in the U.S. over the last few years, and all but four of these projects—some of which were approved as far back as 2016—are still in the planning stages. The scramble for new gas exports is a serious threat to global climate targets and public health, locking in polluting infrastructure for several decades. Recent research suggests the United States must phase out oil and gas production in the next decade if the world is to avoid the most catastrophic effects of the climate emergency.
“The poor actions of oil and gas industries with the permission from governmental entities who permit and regulate these companies allow them to wreak havoc upon innocent children and adults causing loss and damage to the people and their livelihoods in Mossville, Louisiana and other communities,” said Debra Sullivan Ramirez, displaced resident and community organizer in Mossville, Louisiana. “These toxic polluting industries were given the permission to report inadequately and make false assessments to healthy food, inadequate transportation, air and water pollution, and unsafe homes. We the people ask you to stop violating our communities by approving LNG facilities in our already overburdened communities.”
President Biden has the authority to dramatically limit LNG exports under the Natural Gas Act and reinstate the crude oil export ban after declaring a climate emergency. Instead, the Biden Administration has repeatedly supported export infrastructure expansion. The BAN Act reintroduction comes on the heels of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approving two LNG export terminals, Texas LNG, Rio Grande LNG and the associated Rio Bravo Pipeline, despite widespread community and environmental justice concerns. Last year the Biden administration approved the Sea Port Oil Terminal off the coast of Brazoria County, one of four new crude oil export terminals that will lock us into 30 more years of planet-warming emissions. Under Biden’s leadership, the U.S. continues to be the world’s biggest oil and gas producer, with much of these fossil fuels destined for export abroad, increasing gas prices domestically.
“The BAN Fossil Fuel Exports Act is a much-needed step to prioritize American consumers and to reaffirm the U.S.’s commitment to addressing climate change on a global scale,” said Rep. Espaillat. “As our national economy continues its recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure hard-working Americans are not shouldered with the burdens of high energy costs and the real-world effects of global heating. This bill would make real progress towards preserving our planet while supporting American families by bringing down domestic costs.”
Outrage is growing over Biden’s broken promises to stop climate pollution and protect environmental justice communities. Groups across the U.S. are mobilizing this summer to put pressure on the Biden administration to reverse course and take bold action to end the era of fossil fuels in line with what science and justice demands – beginning with ending fossil fuel exports immediately.
“The fossil fuel industry is bombarding my community, and we can’t take it anymore. The Biden Administration recently approved the SPOT oil export facility and has allowed Freeport LNG to reopen after their dangerous explosion,” said Melanie Oldham, founder of Better Brazoria and Freeport resident. “The hearings and comment periods for these fossil fuel projects are constant, and it’s too much. We can’t continue to be sacrificed to build even more reckless projects that will destroy our air quality and the climate.”