A second Trump administration would benefit the environment. There’s no better proof of that than Friday’s decision by the Biden administration to stop future exports of liquefied natural gas, pending a future study by the Department of Energy.

As justification for the cutoff, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm described the importance of “protecting Americans against climate change and winning the clean energy future.”

Halting American exports of natural gas would result in greater worldwide use of coal, thereby increasing global carbon dioxide emissions. Europe has already been turning to coal to deal with energy shortages in the aftermath of Russia’s cutoff of natural gas. Those concerned about carbon emissions should be fighting to reduce global emissions, which means avoiding the use of coal, where possible.

Equally important, President Joe Biden’s ban on new gas exports would benefit America’s enemies. Because prices are set on the basis of future production, Biden’s action is bound to raise the prices of Russian and Qatari gas, bringing huge windfalls to hostile regimes.

The export ban also benefits China, which is no friend of the environment. Over the past 16 years, U.S. emissions of CO2 have declined by a billion metric tons as natural gas has been increasingly substituted for coal use in the generation of electricity. Over the same period, CO2 emissions in China have risen by 5 billion metric tons.

The stoppage also hurts our allies. First and foremost is Europe, which has been importing more and more American natural gas since 2022, when Russia cut off its supplies of natural gas. According to the Energy Information Agency, America exported an average of 11.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in the first half of 2023, more than any other country.

Europe was our biggest customer last year. Pausing exports will leave our allies there stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The same is true in Asia, which was the top destination for America’s natural gas exports in 2021. India, South Korea, Japan, and other U.S. allies all want to reduce emissions and make greater use of natural gas. Cutting them off now will force them back to coal, which produces more emissions than natural gas, and is a commodity China can more readily provide.

In short, Biden is doing everything he can to reduce U.S. production of natural gas. Reversing this policy, as former President Donald Trump proposes, would reduce emissions overseas and at home.

On his first day in office, through executive order, Biden restricted offshore drilling, expanded the boundaries of national monuments, and halted construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. He views fossil fuels as transitional, and, as he indicated in his 2023 State of the Union address, he believes that fossil fuels would not be needed for much longer.

Even if Biden were right—and he’s not—it wouldn’t meaningfully help the environment. Indeed, if America stopped all use of fossil fuels immediately, global temperatures would only decline by two-tenths of one degree Celsius by the year 2100, according to government models. This is because China, India, Russia, Africa, and Latin America are ramping up their use of coal in order to reach Western standards of living.

China is home to large supplies of coal, but little natural gas, and the country uses its domestic coal supplies for generating electricity to power its global manufacturing capacity.

A second Trump administration would likely encourage production of natural gas and faster permitting of pipelines and LNG terminals to be able to move it from the interior of the country to ports, and into export terminals to be shipped to Europe and Asia.

America’s natural gas production, currently more than 96 billion cubic feet per day, is greater than pre-pandemic levels, but production primarily takes place on private lands. It could have been even higher if Biden had not restricted leases on federal land and if pipeline approval happened faster.

Trump’s energy plan includes permitting reform, allowing different sources of energy to compete on a level playing field, opening more lands to natural gas development, reversing Biden’s climate agenda, expediting nuclear technology, and protecting the energy grid.

Unlike Biden, Trump would not instruct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to slow down pipeline and liquid natural gas export terminal construction in the name of a transition to renewables.

The more natural gas the U.S. exports, the lower global emissions would be. With Trump in office, faster infrastructure permitting would allow natural gas to travel where it is needed.

Biden’s halt of natural gas exports harms the environment and benefits America’s enemies. A second Trump term would reverse this disastrous policy.

Originally published at Newsweek.com

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