Calcasieu Pass project (for illustration purposes); Source: Venture Global LNG

LNG permitting freeze in court-imposed meltdown mode: Game over for ‘epiphany of ideocracy’ or more fierce US energy battles?

Energy powers the world but climate change woes have triggered wars on fossil fuels, casting doubt over the global decarbonization roadmaps’ fifty shades of green loopholes in net zero policy. A preliminary injunction from a court in Louisiana has broken a temporary lull in approvals of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to non-free trade agreement (FTA) countries, widening the gap between Big Oil supporters and fossil fuel fighters while the case plays out.

Calcasieu Pass project (for illustration purposes); Source: Venture Global LNG

Key highlights:

  • LNG export permitting pause to non-FTA countries reversed
  • LNG export pause seen as ‘arbitrary and capricious’
  • Opponents of LNG permitting pause hail court’s decision as ‘major victory’
  • Supporters of LNG pause not deterred by MAGA’s ‘seedy alliance’ with Big Oil
  • Debunking LNG permit freeze myths
  • Power of words: Ripping away veil of ambiguity
  • Human rights and freedoms on the ballot: Legal conundrums, loose cannons, and extremist manifesto
  • Project 2025’s energy agenda: Ultimate power to fossil fuels and death of green dreams

On a mission to tackle climate challenges, the Biden administration hit the pause button on pending approvals of LNG exports to non-free trade agreement countries until a review of the environmental and economic impacts has been carried out. The move dubbed the ‘LNG export ban’ by its opponents signifies a reversal of the stance the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) adopted last year when it reaffirmed the continuation of LNG export approvals, given the energy security concerns that permeated the world in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.

At the time, the DOE said that “its adjudicatory approach to non-FTA applications allows it to maintain important flexibility to consider developing facts and circumstances in the U.S. and global LNG export markets, as well as evolving considerations related to the environment, global energy security, and other matters bearing on the public interest.”

During the trials and tribulations, the global energy industry, especially the European Union (EU), had to contend with in 2022, the U.S. emerged as Europe’s savior by supplying its domestic markets and sending over 800 LNG cargoes to the continent, representing a 141% increase from 2021, to address the gas shortfalls and help cushion the impact of what was described as Russia’s weaponization of energy supplies.

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Given President Joe Biden’s ambitious clean energy agenda, Bureau Veritas spotlighted that renewables and hydrogen were positioned to reap the benefits from the U.S. LNG permitting pause, but many were unwilling to leave it in place, thus, they left no stone unturned in their quest to remove the pause. While pursuing ways to thwart Biden’s LNG freeze, Pelican Institute and Liberty Justice Center filed a lawsuit to oppose the LNG permitting freeze, after sixteen states jointly filed suit through their attorneys general.

These lawsuits argue that the sudden policy change has destabilized a key pillar of the U.S. economy and raised significant legal concerns, contravening the 1938 Natural Gas Act (NGA), mandating that the DOE should approve LNG export applications unless such applications are inconsistent with the public interest. The LNG freeze is interpreted to extend beyond mere regulatory compliance issues by those fighting to rescind it, as they are said to strike at the heart of the economic livelihood of thousands of Americans and the operational stability of an entire industry.

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Furthermore, those backing the legal action taken due to the LNG hiatus see the imposition of the ban without the requisite notice and opportunity for public comment as a violation of the procedures mandated by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), exhibiting federal administrative overreach and a disregard for the constitutional separation of powers.

LNG export pause seen as ‘arbitrary and capricious’

While emphasizing that the future of America’s energy exports is at stake, 16 states filed for a preliminary injunction against Joseph R. Biden, Jr., U.S. Department of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, David M. Turk, Geri Richmond, Brad Crabtree, and Amy Sweeney. The U.S. states that initiated court proceedings, claiming that the Department of Energy banned the exportation of LNG to countries without a free trade agreement in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, Congressional Review Act, and the United States Constitution, are Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Following a hearing on June 20, 2024, Judge James Cain of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lake Charles Division granted the multi-state coalition’s request for a preliminary injunction on July 1, 2024, lifting the ban on new LNG export projects due to its alleged impact on the states’ economies, accepting the fossil fuel-producing countries’ claims that the DOE’s decision to pause LNG exports was “likely arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise unlawful.”

These countries also suggested that the LNG pause and the President’s announcement are “politically motivated,” as the previous stance was confirmed to be in the public interest multiple times based on an evaluation of economic, energy security, environmental, national security, and international relationship considerations.

Cain perceives the DOE’s refusal to grant the LNG export applications when no reason indicates that a particular export is not in the public interest, as a subversion of the said interest, and Congress’s determination that LNG exports are “presumptively in the public interest.” After the 16 states claimed that halting all pending and future applications to non-FTA countries was “unlawfully” advancing the DOE’s climate change policies, the judge also agreed such actions appeared to be outside the scope of the administration’s authority and rooted in politics and climate change policies.

While finding the decision to halt natural gas export permits to foreign companies “quite complexing,” the judge points out that gas is cleaner than coal, as it emits fewer greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants than other fossil fuels when burned, and indicates how lower natural gas prices have reduced actual and projected future use of coal relative to the use of natural gas to generate electricity.

Aside from this, he acknowledges studies have shown“[i]ncreased U.S. natural gas exports have and will continue to create massive economic benefits for U.S. communities while providing global access to the reliable U.S. natural gas supply needed to further the global energy transition from higher greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting fuels to lower-GHG emitting natural gas.”

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With studies also showing that LNG exports were projected to have positive economic effects on the U.S. economy, Cain wrote: “It does not require a mathematical genius to determine that exports of natural gas pay five times more than the sale of natural gas domestically. Consequently, exporting natural gas is economically beneficial to the United States.

The court has reviewed the voluminous studies attached as exhibits, all of which boast of both the economic and environmental benefits of exporting natural gas. It appears that the DOE’s decision to halt the permit approval process for entities to export LNG to non-FTA countries is completely without reason or logic and is perhaps the epiphany of ideocracy.”

For their part, the U.S. states have maintained that the export ban is not authorized by law because the DOE cites no authority for imposing a blanket ban on LNG exports, which they claim disrupts the natural gas market, putting over $181 billion in energy-manufacturing investment at risk, threatening billions in GDP growth, and has a detrimental ripple effect throughout the economy and society, resulting in “irreparable harm by causing reduced energy security and institutional injury.”

These states argue that the DOE has failed to consider the impact on national security, state revenues, employment opportunities, funding for schools and charities, and pollution allegedly caused by increased reliance on foreign energy sources. In contrast, the Biden administration has argued that these states did not show how the export ban harms domestic energy security or supplies.

However, the judge still expressed conviction that the ban will and is irreparably harming the states, specifically Louisiana, Texas, and West Virginia in the loss of revenues, market share, and deprivation of a procedural right.

Opponents of LNG permitting pause hail court’s decision as ‘major victory’

During the hearing, the 16 states’ arguments centered around their insistence on referring to the temporary pause as a ban, focusing on the alleged economic impacts that may arise, such as the threat to jobs and tax revenue that they relied upon from natural gas production. Following the court’s ruling, Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, welcomed the decision as “a major victory, blocking the Biden Administration’s unlawful and indefinite ban on approving applications to export liquified natural gas.”

Texas Attorney General emphasized that the lawsuit was filed to void “the unconstitutional LNG export ban,” which pays no heed to the Natural Gas Act’s presumption in favor of exports, and decades of Department of Energy policy, alongside state and private reliance on exports. Since Texas is the largest oil and gas-producing state in the U.S., Paxton argues that the Biden administration’s ban stood to harm not just the state’s economy “severely” but also those who rely on its energy.

The judge, who sided with the 16 states against the Biden administration, granted the injunction while enabling the lawsuit to proceed and explained: “The court finds that the plaintiff states are entitled to the injunctive relief requested as to the LNG export ban. Accordingly, the court will grant plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction, and order that the LNG export ban be stayed in its entirety, effective immediately.”

Pelican Institute and the Liberty Justice Center, which co-filed another lawsuit, praised the ruling limiting executive overreach after the federal court issued a preliminary injunction that returned the status quo. As the injunction takes effect immediately and will reverse the Biden administration’s LNG export pause entirely while litigation continues, the duo expressed gratitude to the District Court for pushing back against alleged executive overreach. They claim that the court’s decision upholds the separation of powers and requires government agencies to answer for their so-called violations of federal law.

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 “This ruling means Biden’s illegal ban does not prevent Texas natural gas from reaching market while the lawsuit continues. While I continue fighting for Texans against the Biden administration, producers can take their natural gas to market instead of flaring it. This will protect Texas jobs and keep our critical energy industry running,” noted Attorney General Paxton.

The opponents of the LNG export permitting pause to non-FTA countries point out that the court stated that it is “confused” by the decision to halt the approval process given the Natural Gas Act’s “express language that applications are to be processed expeditiously” and given the rejection of a petition for a functionally identical ban only a few months prior, when the Department of Energy dismissed that petition because there is “no factual or legal basis” for “halt[ing] approval of pending applications to export LNG.”

Since the court concluded its ruling by finding that the challengers to the ban are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim, Loren Seehase, Senior Counsel at the Liberty Justice Center, commented: “We applaud the court’s ruling and will press forward to ensure this preliminary injunction is enforced permanently. The Biden administration does not have the authority to overrule federal law and halt the approval process. We will continue to challenge this egregious over each and hold government actors accountable for prioritizing a political agenda above the Constitution.”

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Congressman Clay Higgins, who has been a vocal opponent of Biden’s pause on LNG export permits, commended the court’s injunction, which came only months after he introduced the LNG Permitting Improvement Act, which would establish a shot clock for reviewing applications for natural gas export and import orders. Two months before, Higgins also voted to override the permitting pause by co-sponsoring and voting to pass the Unlocking our Domestic LNG Potential Act, which would reverse the permitting freeze on American LNG exports.

While this battle has been won by the 16 states that sued the Biden administration, the timing of the Department of Energy’s resumption of reviews and issuance of pending permits is unclear, as this has not been mentioned during the court proceedings, thus, the DOE will determine when to start approving/rejecting pending permit requests.

While the Biden administration is “disappointed” with the injunction, a White House spokesperson underscored: “We remain committed to informing our decisions with the best available economic and environmental analysis, underpinned by sound science. The United States remains the world’s largest exporter of LNG, and is currently on track to more than double existing capacity by the end of this decade.”

Supporters of LNG pause not deterred by MAGA’s ‘seedy alliance’ with Big Oil

The environmental activists and climate organizations are convinced that the court’s decision to push for doubling down on LNG exports, as the 16 states and Big Oil want, will backfire due to the Department of Energy having every right to evaluate its next steps since these decisions have the potential to leave a lasting impact on America’s energy policy and the global fight against climate change. The DOE has the option to give its blessing to an LNG export project if it is in the public interest, which climate campaigners believe is not the case due to pollution.

While acknowledging a rash of bad decisions from Trump’s judges lately,” Mattea Mrkusic, Evergreen Action’s Senior Energy Transition Policy Lead, and Craig Segall, Vice President, point out that “the seedy alliance between MAGA and Big Oil” is trying to distract from the truth with “spurious lawsuits,” but the Biden administration’s DOE still has “an unmissable opportunity to fully account for the climate, environmental justice, and economic harms that plainly show that LNG export facilities are not in the public interest.”

Evergreen Action claims that LNG terminals discharge harmful air pollution into the surrounding areas, which ends up poisoning frontline communities in southwest Louisiana and Texas, as the LNG supply chain continues to spit out carbon and methane pollution that exacerbates the climate crisis. They underline that the decision to pause LNG export permits to non-FTA countries showed President Biden’s willingness to take a stand against big polluters by undertaking a review of the economic and environmental analysis that informs if LNG export applications are in the public interest.

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While the preliminary injunction restores the status quo, requiring the resumption of pending LNG applications evaluation on a case-by-case basis, Evergreen Action underscores that it does not order DOE to issue any specific decisions or require the authorization of any new LNG export facilities nor does it stop DOE from being able to rigorously update studies that evaluate the economic and environmental impacts of LNG exports, which informs DOE’s public interest determination.

“As we face another summer of deadly heat and dangerous storms, especially on the Gulf Coast, the time is right for change. Yes, Big Oil notched a pyrrhic victory here. LNG approvals will now be messier and the process may even be slower thanks to the uncertainty created by this judge’s ruling. But what remains true is that Big Oil’s LNG scheme still is not in the public interest,” Evergreen Action’s Mrkusic and Segall concluded in their analysis.

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“Right now, DOE has a crucial opportunity to use its clear legal authority to rigorously update the environmental and economic analysis underpinning the federal agency’s public interest determinations. This means fully accounting for the climate, environmental justice, and economic costs of new LNG export terminals. Truly measuring these costs will demonstrate what is already starkly obvious: new LNG export terminals are plainly not in the public interest and should not be approved.”

Evergreen Action’s view was also confirmed by Sierra Club, which emphasizes that the court’s decision follows the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s green light for a large gas export terminal, CP2 LNG, that it believes would have the equivalent emissions of 46 coal-fired power plants. 

Louisa Eberle, Sierra Club Staff Attorney, highlighted: “By making sure it has the most up-to-date information around liquified methane gas export impacts, DOE is simply fulfilling its most basic function as an agency and protecting people from harm. Deciding whether or not to approve LNG export applications has serious consequences for how much Americans pay for energy and whether there is clean air and water to support healthy local communities and ensure thriving local industries, like fishing.

“DOE has the authority—and obligation—to adequately review the true impacts of LNG exports, and we believe they will come to the same conclusion we have, which is that expanded LNG exports are not in the public interest and the pending applications should be denied.” 

Debunking myths about LNG permit freeze endangering Europe’s energy security

The Ukraine crisis exacerbated economic upheavals brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, giving rise to a worldwide energy crisis, which bestowed a boon on the U.S. oil and gas industry, given the rewriting of the global oil map and rises in the diversification of supply to strengthen energy security amid attempts to stave off a gas crunch.

This spurred America’s economic growth and profit bonanza, as many countries, especially those in the European Union (EU), spurned Russia over its actions in Ukraine and turned to a raft of sanctions crafted for the highest impact in forcing the country’s hand to end the conflict and give up on the territories it carved out and brought into the Russian Federation fold.

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Those who oppose the Biden administration’s pause on LNG export permits to non-FTA countries blame the freeze for Russia overtaking the U.S. once again as the top gas supplier to Europe based on recent reports. As a result, Biden is accused of jeopardizing the security of America’s allies. Are things really that simple, especially in the EU? The only possible answer to such a question is a resounding no.

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Certain Europeans, like Marine Le Pen, whose far-right populist party, National Rally, has now lost the elections in France to the left-wing spectrum, are often criticized for their support – some even say admiration – of Russia’s President.

Le Pen’s party vowed to ban dual-national immigrants from main positions if it comes to power, yet reports confirm that it has been employing Tamara Volokhova, a Franco-Russian dual national and alleged Russian ‘agent of influence’ based on a leaked report from the DGSI, France’s domestic intelligence service, as the security adviser to the RN in the European Parliament. Volokhova is also a former personal assistant to Le Pen.

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The EU, or more precisely some of its member states, have never stopped importing Russian gas and LNG and remain heavily reliant on Moscow for their energy security. These countries, such as Hungry, have been very vocal in their desire to continue to keep their ties with Russia and have advised against further escalation of tensions between the EU and Moscow.

A case in point is a recent visit Viktor Orban, Hungary’s Prime Minister, made to Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President, with no mandate from the European Union only days after taking over the rotating EU presidency from Belgium. The visit, according to Orban, is his way of trying to act as a referee between Ukraine and Russia to help them agree on a ceasefire, which would enable peace negotiations between the two countries.

On the other hand, political analysts claim that Orban, who recently formed a new EU parliamentary right-wing group called “Patriots for Europe,” may have ambitions and plans to try to get a higher role in the EU, even pretensions toward the EU Presidency, thus, the moves he is making now and any potential inroads that may be made in sorting out the Russia-Ukraine crisis would serve him to advance his agenda.

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Prior to his trip to Russia, Hungary’s Prime Minister made a similar one to Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s President, to ask him several questions, which were not disclosed, but Orban did confirm that he asked Zelenskyy about his red lines.

What constitutes “a fair peace” that Ukraine’s President seeks? Putin has recently been indicating his willingness to bring an end to the conflict by saying that “Russia is committed to the complete and definitive resolution of the conflict” rather than “some kind of truce or cease-fire.” While this is a step in the right direction, there is a catch as the list of requirements for this to happen is unchanged.

This has been confirmed by Russia’s President, who insists on a full withdrawal of troops from the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions, alongside other conditions, which he did not name but did explain that these are “a subject for consideration.” This indicates he would be willing to negotiate on them, as opposed to the first set, which he considers nonnegotiable, thus, Russia seems to have drawn its red lines.

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Aside from the rather complex relationships that certain EU countries have with Russia, a recent analysis of tanker routes tracked down 15 icebreaking LNG tankers that regularly transport Russian gas to LNG import terminals in four EU countries: BelgiumFrance, the Netherlands, and Spain, keeping Europe open for business as a hub for Russia’s LNG exports.

This research, which shows that the European Union has not severed its gas bonds with Russia, pinpoints Zeebrugge in Belgium, Montoir and Dunkerque in France, Bilbao and Mugardos in Spain, and Rotterdam in the Netherlands as the European ports that serve as contact points for LNG deliveries from Yamal. In addition, Zeebrugge and Montoir are perceived to be important hubs for onward exports to countries such as Türkiye, China, or Taiwan.

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Therefore, claims that the Biden administration’s LNG export permitting freeze, which was not a real ban in the sense many have tried to paint it since all existing agreements were respected during this time and the pause only covered unapproved permits to non-FTA countries, fly in the face of all these facets and nuances following careful consideration of the actual situation in Europe.

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Recently, the EU put its 14th sanctions package against Russia in place, targeting LNG for the very first time. In this bundle, the European Union has placed limitations on LNG exports through European ports, sanctions on 27 ships of the Russian so-called black fleet or shadow fleet transporting Russian oil while conducting what is perceived to be deceptive shipping practices, a ban on the export of raw materials such as manganese ore, and support in the development of the country’s energy sector, for instance through the transport of LNG infrastructure components or LNG transshipment.

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The EU believes that these sanctions will curb Russia’s ambitions to grow its position in the LNG global markets by expanding its export capacity, thus, it has also disclosed anti-circumvention measures, which are expected to curb Russia’s ability to evade sanctions, putting pressure on EU companies to undertake their best efforts to ensure that their subsidiaries in third countries do not participate in any activities undermining EU sanctions.

While Russian LNG exports are targeted in this round, this is not a ban like for pipeline gas, thus, the EU companies can still buy Russian LNG but are not allowed to export it further into third countries outside the EU.

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Power of words: Ripping away veil of ambiguity

Once all is said and done, the ruling on the LNG export permitting pause is clear and it shows the lines all sides in this legal battle have drawn in the sand as their starting and final positions. This does not mean that some uncertainty did not arise out of this, as one of the hallmarks of the ruling ended up being certain sections of the text itself.

More to the point, the text of the decision has sparked some interesting debates, where people problematized the meaning of some words. In the passage where Judge Cain wrote about the Biden administration’s choice to halt permits to export natural gas to foreign companies, he described such a decision as “quite complexing to this court. […] is completely without reason or logic and is perhaps the epiphany of ideocracy.”

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Some of those who have read the court’s decision or at least certain parts of it were not sure what the judge meant by ‘complexing,’ thus, they suggested that he may have meant ‘perplexing.’ The actual definition for the word is to ‘make (an atom or compound) form a complex with another,’ while ‘embrace, comprise’ would be the previously associated meanings, dating back to the mid-17th century.

‘Epiphany of ideocracy’ vs ‘epitome of idiocracy’

As interesting as some interpretations have been, the ascribed meanings of two words took the cake. The first word is ‘epiphany’ but some people wondered whether the judge meant to write ‘epitome.’ The word signified a sudden perception of the essence of something, an intuitive grasp of reality, or an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure.

The final word is ‘ideocracy’, which refers to the governance of a state according to the principles of a particular (political) ideology, thus, it stands for a state or country governed in this way. Readers, however, suggested that the judge may have meant ‘idiocracy,’

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If we interpret what the judge wrote as correct, we could say he suggested that the government had a sudden perception based on abstract ideas, which could refer to climate, after all, emissions from LNG are not actually acknowledged properly in the ruling. On the other hand, if Justice Cain meant to write ‘epitome of idiocracy,’ this is disparaging and represents an attempt at satire.

Three recent U.S. court rulings have marked the past few days, coming one right on top of the other. Aside from the one about the LNG permitting pause, two more have shaken the American public and the foundations of its laws. One of them has been interpreted in an interesting albeit concerning fashion in Justice Sonia Sotomayor‘s dissent from the conservative majority’s presidential immunity ruling in which they went above and beyond to interpret the law in a way that would best serve former President Donald Trump to evade accountability in his various criminal prosecutions, including for things his own lawyers have said were private acts.

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Immunity for U.S. presidents is not a new concept per se, since presidents already had absolute immunity from civil liability over actions taken during their term in office, which came with the ruling in Nixon v. Fitzgerald from 1982, putting presidents out of reach of laws like the Alien Tort Statute, which allows foreign nationals to pursue human rights violations in U.S. civil courts. While Democrats are widely considered to have a better track record in not taking too much or full advantage of this immunity, Republicans are a different breed entirely and studies show that they tend to be more prone to partaking of this particular benefit rather a lot.

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While the U.S. Constitution puts the Supreme Court in place, it also allows Congress to make decisions on how it would be organized, thus, Congress has the power to amend the number of seats on the Supreme Court from five to ten. However, once appointed, they tend to hold office for life. Currently, there is one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices of the United States Supreme Court, all of which were at some point appointed by a President and confirmed by the Senate. Among these nine justices, five are male and four female.

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The court is composed of six justices appointed by Republican presidents and three appointed by Democratic presidents, who tend to vote accordingly, shoving a clear divide along party lines in a lot of recent cases. This includes a controversial decision that saw the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the ‘Chevron deference,’ often perceived as a ‘Goliath’ of modern law, which over the last 40 years has granted federal agencies the power to provide expert opinion on how bills should be interpreted.

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The final blow to Chevron came in the form of a 6-3 court split along ideological lines, proving the adage that the enemy within is the real problem since ‘when there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm.’ The overturning of this decades-old pillar of American law is a wish come true for conservative groups, spearheaded by a network funded by the Koch family and hellbent on downsizing the federal government’s role.

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Even though on the outside small fishing operations were the ones that filled a lawsuit against federal regulators, there are plenty of indications that this was a setup as these groups would not have been able to afford someone the likes of former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, who is a heavyweight of conservative law, and lawyers for the Cause of Action Institute, which coincidentally happen to have the same address as the Koch-funded organization Americans for Prosperity.

Given that Chief Justice John Roberts, who is remembered for authoring a major opinion two years ago, limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases (GHG), wrote the majority opinion, it does not come as a surprise that the power of all feral agencies has now been diminished, boosting the power of the courts while lessening the executive branch.

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Moreover, the result of the ruling is interpreted by experts to mean that federal court judges can independently interpret laws, and their interpretations will serve as the definitive definitions and decisions for federal acts. Given the content of such moves in the past, environmental NGOs have raised concerns over the situation, fearing that it may lead to biased and non-expert judgments.⁠

Time to cue in Project 2025, as the primary motivation behind the removal of the Chevron deference is said to open the door for the implementation of Project 2025, which in a nutshell spells the end of ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave’ and the beginning of an era of gross human rights violations, slavery, and discrimination to mention but a few salient consequences.

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The possibility of implementing the right-wing ‘Project 2025: Presidential Transition Project’ hinges on getting a Republican president into the White House, as this dystopian playbook is designed to help Republicans/conservatives seize full control of the U.S. and change all aspects of life, including laws, policies, rights, freedoms, organizations, and everything else under the sun to fit their narrowminded discriminatory outlook that would turn what once was a great nation most of the world looked up to with awe at some point into a nightmare straight out of the dark ages.

Alarmingly enough, one could say that in certain ways, especially in some sections, it resembles the neo-fascist Eurasianist variant writings of Russia’s Aleksandr Dugin. In short, Project 2025 represents the end of democracy and the start of fascism or neo-fascism.

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Trump, who claims that Agenda 47 encompasses his formal policy plans, recently attempted to distance himself from Project 2025’s plans for the next Republican presidency by claiming that he is unfamiliar with it and does not know who is behind it, even though he has ties to several people who are closely connected and involved with the authoritarian government playbook, such as Russ Vought and Stephen Miller. In addition, Project 2025’s Director is no other than Paul Dans, who was Trump’s Chief of Staff at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management while the former President’s campaign spokeswoman, Karoline Leavitt, has also been featured in one of the project’s videos.

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Summary of some of the primary problematic issues related to Trump’s Agenda 47 and Project 2025 and what this means for the U.S. along with video clips backing up the claims (Warning: Profanity is used on occasion)

A spokesperson for Project 2025 recently told Reuters that this project was there to offer recommendations for the next Republican president, however, Trump would decide whether to implement them. With the boosted immunity Trump got in the ruling, he would face no criminal charges if he embarks on this extremist right-wing theocracy wishlist.

Facts are still facts and need to be faced: Project 2025 is backed by a rather considerably high group of Republicans and regardless of where Trump stands on the issue, if he wins, a significant number of those directly involved with the right-wing plan to dismantle human rights and freedoms will take high-level administration jobs.

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Some have combined Project 2025 with Trump’s Agenda 47, which sets out his plans if he becomes the next President. The justification used to mesh the Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 and Trump’s Agenda 47 stems from the simple fact that both require the next President to come from the Republican pool and allegedly complement each other in certain ways.

If Project 2025 replaces all competent professionals and government officials across the U.S. with yes men and women loyal to them, as they are planning to do, America will sink completely. Saying that difficult times are ahead for the U.S. if those who support Project 2025 come into power is an understatement, which raises the question of who in their right mind would want nuclear programs, defense strategies, and the like to be run by those who barely know anything about it.

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Given the fact that only those members who are allowed to join their ranks will have all the power regardless of their competence or more accurately lack of any, why would the rest of the U.S. citizens, who are entitled to equal protection of the laws under the Constitution’s 14th amendment, willingly subjugate themselves to the role of a mere slave with minimum rights in their own homeland?

While the impact of the court’s decision to rip the Chevron doctrine to shreds is wide and could have enormous negative consequences on all aspects of the United States and its entire population, when this is combined with the possibility of the enactment of Project 2025 should a Republican president take over next year, the U.S. and its citizens will be left up the creek without a paddle. This is primarily due to the massive rollbacks of civil rights that this combination is set to bring, rendering the Office of Human Rights powerless, as it would no longer have the power to enforce any federal laws.

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Project 2025’s energy agenda: Ultimate power to fossil fuels and death of green dreams

Looking into the effects and impacts of Project 2025 and the dismantling of the Chevron doctrine on the U.S. energy sector shows that this will eliminate the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will have no way of regulating energy projects and no power to intervene in the expansion of coal, oil, and gas developments Project 2025 is proposing to enact.

Even though this last bit may not seem like a bad thing for the fossil fuel players in the U.S. as it could be interpreted to mean that business would likely be booming, oversupply will not bring more money to producers, it will simply lower the price per barrel and speed up the extraction of remaining resources, bringing the U.S. closer to the date when it may run completely out of coal, oil, and gas without a concrete plan in place to replace them with other sources of supply to keep the lights on.

Furthermore, the EPA and federal agencies will no longer be able to enforce safety regulations, which increases the chances of contaminated products, chemical or lead-filled tap water, malfunctions, and all other issues to extremely high levels with no way of properly tackling them. There will be no climate change mitigation policies as climate change denial is common to all Project 2025’s creators, who mostly dismiss the issue as progressive or politicized policy.

More to the point, they intend to repel the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which turbocharged clean technologies with $370 billion, and close the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and Clean Energy Corps at the Department of Energy.

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The President should also issue an executive order to reshape the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and related climate change research programs. […] The next President should critically analyze and, if required, refuse to accept any USGCRP assessment prepared under the Biden Administration. Downsize the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. […] OAR is, however, the source of much of NOAA’s climate alarmism. The preponderance of its climate-change research should be disbanded,” Project 2025 blueprint stated.

While extensive research backs the fact that changes in energy prices are influenced by global supply and demand dynamics, weather conditions, and geopolitics, as illustrated by the Ukraine crisis, which led to a global energy crisis in 2022, Project 2025 has somehow linked the rise in energy prices and food shortages with climate policies by saying: “The Biden Administration’s extreme climate policies have worsened global food insecurity and hunger. Its anti–fossil fuel agenda has led to a sharp spike in global energy prices.”

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Bearing in mind that climate change causes heatwaves, drought, and flooding, which in turn leads to a shortage in food and clean water supply, the right-wing manifesto’s plans to disband the U.S. Department of Education and abolish checks and balances makes perfect sense, otherwise, these attempts to manipulate the narrative by distorting well-proven facts would never work. They seem to be aware of this as well, thus, they intend to place all federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, under direct presidential control, that way no litigation will be possible once health issues arise.

While Trump may claim that he disagrees with “some of the things they are saying,” as they are “absolutely ridiculous and abysmal” and that he has “nothing to do with them,” an analysis of his plans – if he becomes the 47th U.S. President – and Project 2025’s right-wing vision finds they have a lot in common.  

This is illustrated by Project 2025’s goal to be prepared to execute its agenda “on day one of the next conservative administration” and Trump’s promise to expand oil and gas drilling on his first day in office, which he told Sean Hannity, Fox News host, while trying to offer reassurance that he would not be a dictator “other than day one” with key priorities that entail shutting down the southern border and “drilling, drilling, drilling.”

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Project 2025 makes its zest to protect corporate profits over disclosure of material risks products pose to climate and economy very clear by stating: “The next Administration should use Treasury’s tools and authority to promote investment in domestic energy, including oil and gas. It should reverse support for international public- (and private-) based efforts promoting Environmental, Social, and Governance and Principles for Responsible Investment, both of which have badly damaged U.S. energy security. . […] Congress should: Prohibit the SEC from requiring issuer disclosure of social, ideological, political, or “human capital” information that is not material to investors’ financial, economic, or pecuniary risks or returns.”

Additionally, Project 2025 will eliminate climate change mitigation from the agenda of the National Security Council while its people will do their utmost to get other allied nations to ramp up the use of fossil fuels. The Republican/conservative manifesto clearly states that the federal government has an “obligation to develop vast oil and gas and coal resources” and intends to encourage Arctic drilling. No climate agenda will be able to be pushed through as the expansion of the national grid would be blocked, stymying the transition toward green and renewable energy.

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While the LNG export permit pause may have reignited discussions over the need to strike the right kind of balance between environmental protection and economic growth, Project 2025 has made it clear without leaving any doubt what is really at stake during the upcoming elections. If Trump gets elected, he will not need to follow Project 2025 to the letter, instead, he could decide to take some of these elements and turn them into new policies but pick a completely different path for other policies.

Trump’s Agenda 47 is also interested in encouraging a baby boom like Project 2025, albeit it intends to accomplish this with baby bonuses. The former U.S. President is adamant about annihilating the Green New Deal along with some other clean energy policies Biden has implemented, developing what he calls “the liquid gold from under our feet,” greenlighting hundreds of new power plants and embracing hydropower, nuclear, and clean coal – whatever that may be.

In contrast, Biden, who emphasized that the nation is locked in a “battle for the soul of America,” intends to finish the green energy revolution, which he started with his Bidenomics, including his ambitious goals for the offshore wind industry of reaching 30 GW by 2030.

The current U.S. President and Democrats intend to keep on prioritizing environmental protection and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions while burning the candle at both ends to propel clean energy deployment forward, fight for reproductive rights, expand health care coverage, boost the U.S. economy from the middle out and the bottom up, tackle undocumented immigrants, continue U.S. support for NATO, address student loan debt and education issues, curb gun violence.

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Meanwhile, the high-stakes legal game concerning the shifts in America’s energy landscape is far from over. However, the ultimate winner is uncertain as fossil fuel enthusiasts and green energy lovers prepare for a showdown, which carries the promise of far-reaching backlash and implications for the nation’s energy policy and the global fight against climate change.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Offshore Energy.



𝐃𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐛 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐚𝐮𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐞? 𝐋𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐧𝐨 𝐟𝐮𝐫𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐎𝐟𝐟𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐄𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐲! 𝐎𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐨𝐢𝐥 & 𝐠𝐚𝐬, 𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞, 𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐝, 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐞, 𝐡𝐲𝐝𝐫𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐧, 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐞𝐚, 𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐲, 𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐟𝐮𝐞𝐥𝐬, 𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐚 𝐝𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐛𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐬.

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