The Next Big Climate Fight: CP2 and Liquefied Natural Gas


by Mia DiFelice

Last year, the Biden administration faced major blowback for approving the Willow drilling project. It was widely decried as a carbon bomb, set off at a time of growing climate chaos. But Willow pales in comparison to CP2, a gas export facility proposed for the coast of Louisiana. CP2, currently awaiting final approvals from the Biden administration, will have 20 times the climate impact of Willow.

Biden has the power to stop CP2 and dozens of other planned export projects. In refusing to do so so far, the administration is choosing corporate profits and climate chaos over the American people. 

CP2 and LNG Poses a Monumental Threat to a Livable Climate

CP2 is part of a gold rush around the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export industry, which only began recently. After decades of exporting near-zero oil and gas, the U.S. has become the world’s top LNG exporter in a few short years. This growth has been driven and buoyed by a boom in LNG facilities that promise dangerous climate impacts.

The LNG industry cools fracked gas to a liquid form and ships it overseas. This creates a long supply chain that makes LNG at least 24% worse for the climate than coal, even in the best-case scenarios. Moreover, LNG creates new markets for fracked gas and drives the drilling of more wells.

The CP2 facility, running at full volume, would have the same impact as adding 197 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. And if Biden continues approving proposed projects in the Gulf Coast, they would emit an estimated 3.2 billion tons of greenhouse gasses each year.

To make matters worse, companies buy and sell LNG under long-term contracts, and infrastructure will last for decades. CP2’s owner, Global Ventures, has asked the Biden administration for a permit to operate until 2050. LNG threatens to lock us into decades of more pollution and climate-wrecking emissions.

CP2 Threatens the Public Health of Nearby Communities

The LNG boom has already hit the Gulf Coast hard. New export facilities have plagued the region with hazardous air pollution, ruined environments, and constant fears of explosion.

In fact, CP2 is the second Venture Global LNG terminal proposed for Cameron Parish, Louisiana. It will sit beside the first, Calcasieu Pass, which began operating in 2022. But Calcasieu Pass has been rife with malfunctions, including ones that expose its neighbors to dangerous pollution. In just a year, Calcasieu Pass exceeded its air permit limits over 2,000 times.

On top of the air pollution, the concentration of gas facilities puts nearby towns at great risk of catastrophic accidents. Four of the five LNG export terminals on the Gulf Coast have seen a leak or blast. Cracks in pipes and other malfunctions have been disturbingly common.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new for the region. Polluting industries have long set up shop in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, with horrible consequences for their neighbors. Now and historically, Black and low-income communities disproportionately bear the brunt of the impacts.

Biden’s environmental justice policies — including a much-touted executive order — were supposed to protect these communities. His support for LNG severely undermines these goals and clears the way for more harm.

LNG Industry Prizes Profits Over Families

Along with climate, health, and environmental justice impacts, LNG will also hurt families in their wallets. On the local level (besides the high costs of health impacts), CP2 threatens the livelihoods of shrimpers and fishers. That’s because export facilities require dredging, which ruins local waterways and ecosystems.

LNG’s growth also contributes to nationwide inflation and the rising cost of living. While many families have to choose between buying food and medicine or paying their energy bills, growing LNG exports raise home energy costs because they squeeze domestic gas supplies.

Meanwhile, the LNG industry is raking in cash. U.S. LNG exports have doubled in the past four years and are projected to nearly double again in the next four. And as the gas export industry exploded, U.S. LNG companies profited handsomely. Local communities, environments, families nationwide, and our climate are all paying the price.

Biden Can and Must Stop CP2 and All LNG

The case against CP2 and LNG is obvious. Nevertheless, the Biden administration has greenlit every single LNG export project that has come its way. But right now, the administration has a golden opportunity to reverse course.

CP2 is facing its final permitting hurdles with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy. So far, federal processes to evaluate LNG have failed to account for its outsized harms. The Biden administration can change this, deny CP2, and set a powerful precedent for future LNG proposals. 

The science is clear. CP2 and the entire LNG industry will be disastrous for the climate, and for our chances at a livable future for all. Biden must stop this and all LNG projects.

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Six Things Biden Must Do Right Now to Fight Climate Change


Photo CC-BY-SA Gage Skidmore
by Mia DiFelice

In February 2023, President Joe Biden marked the halfway point of his term with his State of the Union address. The address was light on climate, and what climate talk there was focused mostly on the lackluster Inflation Reduction Act. In the speech, he called climate change an “existential threat” — but he hasn’t done enough to treat it like one.

Right now, we have a Supreme Court and a divided Congress unlikely to make meaningful progress on climate. But with his executive powers, Biden could respond to the climate crisis — and intertwined food and water crises — with the urgency they call for. Here’s how:

1. Declare a Climate Emergency

With an executive order, Biden can declare climate change a national emergency. That would unlock several key powers to respond to the emergency — notably, reinstating our ban on crude oil exports

Oil exports have taken our energy markets for a spin, pinning prices to global crises like the war in Ukraine. Banning exports would help insulate our energy prices from shocks, while forcing oil and gas companies to cut down their production and their climate pollution.

Biden has already called climate change “an emergency.” But he must officially declare it one to unlock those emergency powers. 

2. Ban Fracking on Public lands

Before stepping into office, President Biden promised to ban fracking on public lands. But he’s yet to follow through. In fact, in the past two years his administration has approved thousands of oil and gas leases.

Shutting down oil and gas on public lands should be a no-brainer. More than a quarter of U.S. climate pollution comes from fossil fuels extracted from public lands and waters. Moreover, fossil fuel operations endanger the wildlife and environment we’re supposed to be protecting.

3. Stop Dirty Infrastructure Projects

The administration can and should direct federal agencies to stop permitting new fossil fuel infrastructure. That includes everything from drilling, to pipelines, to export terminals. 

American gas companies have expanded their plans for export terminals in recent months, responding to the energy crunch caused by the war in Ukraine. But these plans are capitalizing on a crisis with little hope of actually relieving Europe’s energy problems. Moreover, these terminals will be hugely expensive and lock us into gas for decades.

The Biden administration must prevent plans like these from becoming reality. In 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made clear: any expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure will “rob us of our last chance to avert climate chaos.”

4. Regulate Dangerous Rail Cargo

Liquefied natural gas isn’t just a climate threat — it also threatens communities with the risk of catastrophic explosions. In 2020, the Department of Transportation cleared the way for the transport of LNG by rail. Even worse, it stripped back safety precautions, allowing companies to transport highly flammable LNG like normal freight. 

The recent disaster in East Palestine, Ohio has shown us the consequences of rail deregulation and expanding dirty infrastructure. There, a “100% preventable” train derailment endangered nearby communities, spilling toxic chemicals used by the petrochemical industry.

So far, Biden’s DOT under Pete Buttigieg has dragged its feet on fixing Trump-era rail deregulation. But to keep communities safe and hold these polluting, dangerous industries accountable, the administration must strengthen regulations.

5. Defend Our Food System from Mega-Mergers

In the past few years, food prices have soared. More families are struggling to afford their grocery bills, while farmers see none of the windfall. Instead, that windfall is lining the pockets of huge corporations, thanks to their monopoly power.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. To start, this year the Biden administration can stop a mega-merger between grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons

If approved, the merger would subject millions of families to the whims of an even more powerful monopoly. As we’ve seen before, monopolies lead to higher prices and worse working conditions. Through the Federal Trade Commission, the Biden administration can help block this merger and many others.

6. Protect Families from Factory Farm Pollution

Factory farms fuel the climate crisis, sicken neighboring communities, and pollute our air and our water. The EPA is supposed to protect us, but for decades, its lax rules have allowed factory farms to pollute with impunity. 

That pollution threatens human health with respiratory illnesses, bacteria in drinking water, and more. And those health risks fall disproportionately on low-income communities and communities of color.

We need stronger rules to protect environmental justice communities and slow down climate change. Biden can direct the EPA to finally enact new, better regulations for factory farm air and water pollution. 

Biden Can and Must Act Boldly on Climate

We are running out of time. Every day, temperatures rise; a new disaster strikes. The window is closing to secure food, water, and a livable future for all. And the greedy corporations at the heart of the problem are making matters even worse.

But Biden can show true leadership by enacting policy that will actually help families. He can turn the tide on climate change, while also stopping corporate abuses and extractive industries that threaten our communities.

In the second half of his term, Biden can and must wield his full powers as president to defend our food, our water, and our climate.

Tell President Biden to declare a climate emergency.


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