New poll shows Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly reject Biden LNG pause

new statewide Pennsylvania poll released Monday morning showed 58% of Pennsylvania voters surveyed oppose President Joe Biden’s liquefied natural gas export moratorium after learning the details of the impact it would have on jobs and communities in the state.

The survey showed 41% of voters are more likely to vote against Biden based on him suspending approvals for new facilities that export liquefied natural gas, with 22% of voters are more likely to support him.

In the Scranton media market, this number increases to a majority of voters, 55%, who said they are more likely to vote against Biden based on this announcement

The poll was conducted by Axis Research and surveyed 601 Pennsylvania voters, with a majority of them, 57%, being independent and Democratic voters.

The Biden administration announced on Jan. 26 that it was halting approval of new licenses to export LNG due to climate change.

It drew sharp criticism from both Sens. John Fetterman (D-PA) and Bob Casey (D-PA), who said in a joint statement they are going to push Biden to undo his decision.

“This industry has created good-paying energy jobs in towns and communities across the Commonwealth and has played a critical role in promoting U.S. energy independence,” they said.

Just this past weekend, Gov. Josh Shapiro (D-PA) leaned in and warned the Biden administration the halt should be short.

“It’s my hope that that pause is limited and that their focus of whatever analysis they’re going to do is centered around making sure we create jobs in the energy space in Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said in an interview with Bloomberg in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, over the weekend.

Pennsylvania is the second-largest natural gas-producing state after Texas. The industry employs 125,000 people in Pennsylvania including geologists, engineers, computer technicians, electricians, surveyors, welders, water treatment specialists, and chemists, according to a report by global business advisory firm FTI Consulting.

The FTI report also showed the industry contributed more than $41 billion in 2022 state economic activity.

The natural gas output in the state totals 7.5 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistical agency of the Department of Energy. The industry also not only employs a lot of Pennsylvanians, but it heats over half of Pennsylvania households, according to the agency.

Biden’s LNG decision is just one of several administration decisions that negatively affected Pennsylvania’s economy. The closure of the Cleveland-Cliff’s Weirton plant last month was a direct result of a decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission denying a request by the company and union to initiate tariffs on tin imports.

And over in Butler County, a pending Department of Energy rule on the use of grain-oriented steel cores could shut down the Cleveland-Cliffs Butler Works, costing nearly 1,500 jobs at the plant that manufactures electric distribution transformers.

All these decisions have local Democrats scratching their heads.

Last Thursday, the Bloomberg-Morning Consult survey of 803 registered Pennsylvania voters showed former President Donald Trump leading Biden 45% to 36% if independents Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (8%) and Cornel West (1%) and Green Party candidate Jill Stein (1%) are also on the ballot.

The survey showed voters more aligned with Casey and Fetterman’s stance on the moratorium after hearing their concerns about the negative impact of that ban, with a whopping 54% of voters less likely to support Biden’s policy.

The poll, commissioned by the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance, also showed 84% of those Pennsylvania voters said they believe the LNG export suspension threatens thousands of good-paying jobs throughout the state’s natural gas industry.

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A majority of voters polled said they are most focused on the economy and cost of living. Only 3% of those polled said they wanted the state to be focused on climate change.

The Axis Research poll was conducted online through a blend of panels to eliminate bias and have a high reach. It was conducted from Feb. 25 through Feb. 27.

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