published : 2023-10-26

25 Republicans Oppose Biden Administration's Crackdown on Fossil Fuel Transportation

GOP lawmakers argue that suspending the LNG by rail rule is virtue signaling rather than progress in reducing emissions

A photo of Senator Ted Cruz passionately expressing his concerns about the Biden administration's action on fossil fuel transportation, taken with a Nikon D850.

Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Sam Graves, are leading a bipartisan effort against the Biden administration's action to prohibit liquefied natural gas (LNG) transportation via rail.

In a letter to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the lawmakers expressed concerns about the suspension of the LNG by rail rule, questioning PHMSA's commitment to safety and its alignment with the administration's green policies.

They urged PHMSA to reverse the suspension or at least consider the safety mission and cost-benefit analysis in future rules.

The Republicans argued that LNG transportation by rail has proven to be safe and reliable and criticized PHMSA for disregarding its own data, which shows that the movement of hazardous materials by highway is less safe compared to rail.

A group photo of the bipartisan lawmakers, including Ted Cruz and Sam Graves, standing together to oppose the suspension of the LNG by rail rule, captured with a Canon EOS R5.

They also highlighted that this action is part of the Biden administration's broader attack on domestic fossil fuel production, ignoring the impact on consumers and national security.

The lawmakers claimed that the suspension of the LNG by rail rule is mere virtue signaling rather than a meaningful step towards reducing emissions.

PHMSA defended its rule, stating that it allows time for further research on the safe transportation of cryogenic liquids like LNG by rail.

The move to prohibit LNG transportation via rail was supported by environmental organizations concerned about the potential hazards and explosions associated with LNG.

An aerial shot of a train transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) passing through a scenic landscape, highlighting the importance of safe and reliable rail transportation, taken with a Sony Alpha a7 III.

Former Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao had previously implemented safeguards to prevent accidents in LNG transportation.

While the rule was challenged in court by environmental groups, it had received support from Republicans and the rail industry, which emphasized the importance of an expanded LNG transportation infrastructure in meeting demand within the country.

The effort led by Republican lawmakers aims to push back against the Biden administration's energy policies and protect American energy production.