Oil Change International

October 2021

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Update: Since the initial calculations, one of the liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminals originally included has been canceled by the owner. This leaves the remaining total at 23 fossil fuel infrastructure projects, which would release combined annual greenhouse gas pollution equivalent to the average annual emissions from 399 U.S. coal-fired power plants.


U.S. President Joe Biden can prevent from entering into service or halt with executive action two dozen United States fossil fuel infrastructure projects — including the Line 3, Dakota Access, and Mountain Valley Pipelines — which would significantly increase U.S. GHG emissions if completed or allowed to continue operation. If the Biden Administration does not stop these fossil fuel infrastructure projects, it will be much more difficult to meet its domestic and global climate goals.

Our research finds that the 24 projects analyzed would release combined annual greenhouse gas pollution equivalent to approximately 20% of 2019 U.S. emissions. This total is equal to the average annual emissions from 404 U.S. coal-fired power plants, larger than all 294 coal plants operating in the continental United States. The vast majority of these potential emissions — equivalent to 17% of 2019 U.S. emissions, or 316 coal power plants — are associated with projects that have not received full federal approval, not started construction, or not finished construction.

The Biden Administration, through its various agencies, will make decisions on these and additional projects in the next three years. Stopping these fossil fuel infrastructure projects would prevent a drastic increase in GHG pollution at a time when it is imperative to decrease GHG emissions to adhere to domestic and international climate goals and commitments, including the Paris Agreement that President Biden rejoined.

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