Biden Admin Reverses Trump-Era Fossil Fuel Regulation

( – In what Texas Republican Ted Cruz has called the latest “salvo” from the White House in their war on American energy producers, the Biden administration has reversed a Trump-era policy that allowed liquefied natural gas (LNG) to be transported on the nation’s railways. Mainstream outlets have paid little attention to the quiet move being touted as a victory for environmental activists.

A federal filing on September 1st formally halted an authorization from 2020 that permitted LNG carriers to transport their product via rail. The new policy is slated to remain effective until a long-term rule covering the transport of LNG can be drafted and finalized. That process could take a number of months, but if no action is taken the current regulation will expire on June 30th of 2025.

Patrick Grenter, an executive with the Sierra Club, said his organization is “encouraged” and cited the “dangerous” nature of moving “highly flammable” liquefied gas by train. While he endorsed the temporary policy, he also urged the DOT to make the transport ban permanent.

The DOT had already implemented a less strict ban on LNG transport before Donald Trump took office. The agency allowed LNG to be shipped in a limited fashion so long as transporters had obtained a special permit. Those permits were awarded on a case-by-case basis and allowed for public input from the communities rail cars would be traveling through.

Shortly after President Biden came to power, legislators and activists began calling for a blanket ban on LNG rail shipments. An attorney with CSX, which is a major shipping entity, warned that the transportation and energy industries would face extreme costs if forced to find alternative means of delivery. His view was also held by most Republicans in Congress.

In response to the DOT’s action, Senator Ted Cruz pointed out that the administration’s ban will lead to nothing but increased energy prices for the American consumer.

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