Brown, Merkley introduce bill to ban LNG exports to China

By Nico Portuondo | 02/29/2024 06:38 AM EST

The legislation seeks to unite Democrats in the raging gas export debate.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is sponsoring legislation to block fossil fuel exports to U.S. adversaries. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Progressive and moderate senators are teaming up on a new fossil fuel exports bill following significant division within the Democratic caucus over President Joe Biden’s natural gas export review pause.

The “Protecting American Households from Rising Energy Costs Act,” led by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), seeks to unite Democrats around a common goal: ensuring China and other adversaries aren’t aided by American fossil fuel production.

“We should not allow American liquid natural gas to fuel China’s state-sponsored industries,” said Brown. “The Chinese Communist Party uses that energy to cheat and undermine Ohio production and Ohio jobs.”


The bill would indefinitely ban the export of U.S. crude oil or liquefied natural gas to China, Iran, North Korea or Russia, unless a waiver is granted by the secretary of Energy. A violation could result in a fine of up to $250 million and potential jail time.
The bill