US LNG developers had their eyes on the fast-growing Asian market, but the cancellation in December of a proposed terminal on the West Coast was a setback to that effort. The energy crisis that has unfolded in Europe over the past several months provided a decisive boost: Russian exports to Europe were lower than expected, and cheaper shipments from the US were diverted to fill the gap. The US is expected to maintain its leading position into 2022 as still more export facilities begin operating.

As the US exports more gas, it is using more coal

Meanwhile, as more US gas goes overseas, domestic prices are rising as well. As a result, many power producers in the US have opted to increase their reliance on coal. Coal consumption in the US was 22% higher in 2021 than in 2020, according to federal data, the first yearly increase since 2014.

In other words, the use of US fossil fuels to lower energy costs and emissions in other countries is contributing to an increase in domestic carbon emissions. That makes it harder for the US to meet the Biden administration’s goal to cut emissions in half by 2030.

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