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Attorney General Schmitt Joins 25-State Coalition in Opposition to Biden Rule Change that Prohibits Natural Gas Transportation by Rail

Mar 1, 2022, 11:45 AM by AG Schmitt
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, along with a coalition of 25 states, voiced his opposition to President Biden’s proposed rule to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that would prohibit liquefied natural gas (LNG) from being transported by rail car in the United States. In a comment letter sent yesterday, the attorneys general argue that this Biden proposal will have devastating effects on the economy, American energy, and national security.

“Now more than ever, attaining energy independence is critical to our nation. Missourians are paying more money at the gas pump, and many are struggling to pay increased energy bills just to heat or cool their home. Transporting liquefied natural gas via rail car is safe, is more efficient, and will allow the United States to continue to grow domestic gas production,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “The Biden Administration’s moves to appease Green New Deal extremists will continue to hamper domestic energy production, will increase our reliance on foreign energy, and will further contribute to higher energy prices on Missouri consumers.”

Citing Russia's recent invasion of Ukraine to call for greater energy independence, - the attorneys general argue, "Natural gas is the primary energy source for electricity generation in the United States. Presently, 41% of the country's electricity is generated from natural gas. Meanwhile, U.S. Greenhouse Gas ("GHG") emissions have decreased by 11.65 percent and GHG emissions from electricity generation have decreased by 33.08 percent within same timeframe. The growth in U.S. gas production is a geopolitical and economic asset, contributing to our national and global energy security."

The comment letter continues, “Current geopolitical events involving Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine show with painful clarity the need for the United States to maintain its energy independence through multiple distribution points throughout our country. The agency should not move forward with suspension of a rule that serves that important objective.”

Commenting on the safety of transporting LNG via railway, the letter states, “The Railway Supply Institute (“RSI”) ‘agrees with and supports PHMSA’s prior analysis that transport by rail improves safety and fuel efficiency, and decreases emissions associated with transporting LNG when compared to transportation by truck.’  According to Fortis BC, a leading LNG producer, ‘LNG is not flammable or explosive in its liquid form which means converting natural gas to LNG is one of the safest ways to transport energy.’”

Since Biden took office, LNG prices have increased 61%. Additionally, the average American household paid about $1,000 more in energy costs last year. The President's unrelenting desire to crush domestic oil and gas will only result in more homes in the United States being heated by Russian natural gas.

The comment letter can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/phmsa-comment-final.pdf?sfvrsn=44696ee4_2