Even as the Biden administration, under pressure from environmentalists, hits pause on its approval of a major natural gas export terminal in the United States, it faces another big gas decision overseas.
A $13 billion natural gas export project in Papua New Guinea led by TotalEnergies and Exxon Mobil is on a shortlist of projects set to receive financing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank, or Ex-Im, which supports American businesses around the world.
The Papua LNG gas project would join a portfolio of oil and gas projects the bank funds, including an oil refinery in Indonesia and an oil tank project in the Bahamas. The bank is also considering financing an offshore pipeline and natural gas plants in Guyana.
Some climate activists see a big contradiction between climate actions the government is taking in the United States versus around the world.
“He’s done so much at home,” said Kate DeAngelis, who works on international finance at Friends of the Earth, a network of environmental organizations that has called on the bank not to finance the project, referring to President Biden.
But he “can’t claim to be a climate champion when the U.S. is propping up this fossil fuel infrastructure all over the world,” she said.