The US president last month paused approvals for gas export terminals, citing climate-change
Charities controlled the Rockefeller family and other billionaire donors were behind a successful campaign to pressure US President Joe Biden into suspending new approvals of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, the Wall Street Journal reported this week, citing its sources.
People familiar with the matter told the newspaper that the Rockefellers, along with former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, have pumped millions of dollars into environmental groups campaigning against fossil-fuel projects, including LNG terminals that have been proposed for the Gulf of Mexico coast.
Biden ordered a pause on approvals for LNG exports from new projects in the country on January 26, citing their potential contribution to climate change. The move, which was welcomed by climate activists, could delay decisions on new plants until after the November 5 US presidential election. “They got our attention,” a senior Biden administration official said about the activists’ efforts, describing the campaign as intense, according to the WSJ.
However, many large producers have vocally opposed the move, emphasizing that LNG plays a vital role in the energy transition. The controversial decision has also sparked anger among Republicans in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Lawmakers said the halt inevitably weakens global energy security and undermines Washington’s efforts to help the EU reduce reliance on Russian energy.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America has also argued that the plan would “bolster Russian influence” in the European gas market. The US became world’s top LNG exporter last year, shipping roughly half of its exports to Western Europe. According to the White House, the US has exceeded its annual delivery targets to the EU for each of the last two years.
Meanwhile, according to the WSJ, a few days after Biden’s announcement, Sarah Brennan, an associate director at the Rockefeller Family Fund, wrote in an email to environmental groups saying that “the pause…is the result of a sustained four-year push that built upon years of opposition to gas exports by community groups and lawyers.” Brennan added that “the White House recognized the power [of] this campaign.”
The report indicated that in 2018 the Rockefeller Family Fund, a charity created by some of the heirs of oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, launched an initiative called the Funder Collaborative on Oil and Gas to encourage green funders to do more. Some of the heirs have reportedly campaigned for years against US energy giant Exxon Mobil.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section