The Biden administration is allowing for additional natural gas exports after Russia shut off gas to two of the U.S.’s NATO allies.
The Energy Department announced on Wednesday that it would issue two orders allowing for the export of a total of 500 million additional cubic feet per day of liquified natural gas from projects in Texas and Louisiana.
That represents enough energy to heat about 2.5 million homes for a day. In the first half of last year, the U.S. exported an average of 9.6 billion cubic feet per day.
The move comes after Russia shut off natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, which was seen as significant escalation amid tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Energy Department statement did not specify to which countries the additional exports will flow, meaning it’s not clear how much of this natural gas will flow to those countries, if any.
The department said only that the exports will go “to any country not prohibited by U.S. law or policy.”
This is the second such announcement the department has made in recent weeks, as Europe has sought to reduce its reliance on Russian gas. Last month, the Energy Department enabled another 720 million cubic feet per day in exports.
As of 2019, Russia supplied 41 percent of the European Union’s natural gas imports.
Domestically, the energy industry is likely to support the move. But, it could meet pushback from those who oppose expanded use of fossil fuels.