(Washington, DC) - House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) was joined by 19 committee members in a letter to the Biden Administration questioning their prohibition on exporting U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG).

“The Committee is concerned that this pause with no scientific justification will ultimately result in a permanent ban of one of our country’s most valuable clean energy resources,” the Science Committee members wrote.

The Biden Administration announced a pause on new LNG exports until the Department of Energy can update the analyses it uses to establish LNG export authorizations, noting that the current analyses are five years old. The Science Committee members questioned the need for new analyses, pointing out that Department has commissioned five studies since 2012 to examine impacts of U.S. LNG exports on the U.S. economy and energy markets. “Each of these studies found that exports would create net public benefits and have limited impact on domestic natural gas prices,” the committee members wrote.

The Committee members called the current export ban political and unscientific, questioning the need for a pause in exports while new studies by the National Laboratories are completed. “The previous studies were completed without any pause in the permitting process, and it is unclear, beyond a political agenda, why one is needed now,” they wrote. “The Administration’s disregard of existing studies and its unfounded decision will have significant ramifications on the future of U.S. LNG.”

The letter also details the significant benefits of using American LNG, including geopolitical benefits and lower emissions as compared to Russian LNG. Russian LNG exported to Europe has a lifecycle emissions profile 41 percent higher than U.S. LNG exported to Europe. U.S. LNG also produces 50 percent fewer emissions on average when used for electricity generation in China, Germany, and India.

“These economic statistics and federally supported findings demonstrate that U.S. LNG is key to both global energy security and successful emissions reduction for the foreseeable future,” the members wrote.

The members requested a briefing from the Department of Energy to answer questions about the current ban on LNG exports and the Department’s plans to conduct their scientific analyses.

Read the full letter here.