Fossil Fuel Fanatics Block Climate Justice Progress: in Ukraine and Texas

Port Arthur, Texas
Wherever you are, extremists will prioritize Big Oil and Gas over you

Toplines & Key Facts:

  • House Speaker Johnson ties Ukrainian aid to Biden LNG pause
  • Port Arthur House LNG hearing shrouded in political theater and falsehoods
  • In contrast, Progress Texas champions climate justice

House Holds Ukrainian Aid Hostage

As Ukrainians bravely defend their nation, sparing Americans from facing similar threats, House Speaker Mike Johnson must cease binding Ukrainian aid to President Biden’s Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) export approvals pause. The administration’s pause is a crucial step forward in protecting our people and land, and Johnson is sacrificing the same for Ukrainians on the battlefield. The ongoing conflict demands swift and unwavering support from Congress.

This blockade continues to further exacerbate Ukrainian suffering and empowers adversaries like China and Russia by subsidizing their access to cheap, environmentally harmful fossil fuels from the West. Executive Director at Progress Texas Kathleen Thompson said, “Extremists are attempting to use their razor-thin majority to strip away President Biden's responsibility to examine impacts on our climate, frontline communities, the economy, and national security.” 

Port Arthur Sham LNG Hearing Spreads Disinformation

Meanwhile, on Eclipse Day and with little notice, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) held a field hearing in Port Arthur, Texas. 

Contrary to disinformation shared during the sham event, current levels of U.S. Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) exports already fulfill Europe's needs and would only escalate costs for U.S. households. In addition, increasing exports will make the product more inflationary, while rampant up and down natural gas pipelines, leaks, flaring, aging infrastructure and general mismanagement degrade our exports. And back home, from the Texas Gulf Coast to the Permian Basin, destruction of private property and ecosystems by the industry continues to provide Big Oil and Gas profits at our expense. 

Back at the hearing, John Beard of the Port Arthur Community Action Network, the sole climate advocate invited, protested that, “misleading the public [about health and air quality] is shameful and disturbing.” Beard’s testimony confirms that LNG windfall profits are lining pockets, prioritizing profits over people. Further, Beard clarified that the Biden Administrations’ pause on a narrow set of permits is monumentally needed, as export terminals are already being expanded in communities like Corpus Christi, Port Arthur, and the Rio Grande Valley. These facilities will lead to further localized traffic congestion, workplace accidents, and higher global temperatures. The repercussions will span across the state and country, so we must support this vital pause loud and proud.

Texas Progressives are Committed to Environmental Justice

To that matter, in March, we urged Texas Democratic Party county convention delegates to take action for climate justice by submitting a clean energy goals resolution. Our resolution was added to the Texas Progressive Caucus’ priorities list and passed in at least ten county conventions including major urban centers Dallas, Fort Bend, and Travis counties.

Additionally, Progress Texas will present a “Burning Issues: Progress Texas Climate Justice Town Hall” on May 9. The virtual event will hear from organizers and experts from across the state, and parallels the environmental movement against the LNG apparatus in Texas and elsewhere. We will continue to champion climate justice as a leading voter cause to more than 10,000 delegates in June, at the Texas Democratic Convention in El Paso. 

What you can do: