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Hill told analysts that timeline would not have a major impact on the further development of the markets and America’s role in them, so long as it isn’t extended. The ban “is probably okay if it lasts a year or so, but if it was a long-term ban, then it would have quite an impact on the market,” Hill said.

The difficulty for companies and investors in the proposed new projects still in the permitting phase is that they currently have no way to know how long the ban will endure. It seems likely that the upcoming presidential election in November will become the deciding factor. If President Biden is re-elected, there is every reason to expect the ban to be made permanent. If Donald Trump were to win, it’s a safe bet it would be immediately lifted on January 20, 2025.

A permanent ban would be extremely damaging to America’s LNG trading partners, especially in Europe.

“U.S. LNG exports improve global energy security as U.S. natural gas is becoming Europe’s primary energy supply source replacing Russia,” Rob Thummel, senior PM/managing director at Tortoise told me in an email.

A permanent halt in the growth of US exports would also have the impact of increasing global greenhouse gas emissions, despite claims to the contrary by Biden officials.

“U.S. LNG exports reduce global carbon emissions as natural gas typically displaces coal to generate electricity in countries such as China and India,” Thummel notes, adding, “Higher U.S. LNG exports assists in reducing the overall trade deficit.”

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