The Biden administration on Thursday approved exports of liquified natural gas (LNG) from the Alaska Gasline Development Corp’s (AGDC) project, a document seen by Reuters shows.

The move comes as the US competes with Russia to ship natural gas from the Arctic to Asia.Russia has seen record high exports of its oil to India this year, following trade sanctions from European countries.

The US Department of Energy gave approval to the AGDC project to export gas to countries with which the US does not currently have a free trade agreement.

The $39bn project is expected to be operational by 2030 if it receives required permits, and its LNG would be exported principally to Asian countries.

The project includes a liquefaction facility on the Kenai Peninsula in southern Alaska. It also proposes an 807-mile long pipeline, which will move gas from northern Alaska across the state.

Exports for the project were first approved by the Trump administration. Since then, it has been opposed by environmental groups. However, after undertaking an environmental review the Biden administration concluded that its economic and international energy security benefits outweigh environmental and climate damage, and that exports of gas production were in the “public interest”.

The Biden administration did, however, modify parts of Trump’s approval to ban venting of greenhouse gases from the project into the atmosphere.

“Biden’s climate presidency is flying off the rails,” said Lukas Ross at campaign group Friends of the Earth via Reuters. Ross said it was the second US approval of a “fossil fuel mega-project” in as many months.

The first was the controversial approval of ConocoPhillips’ $7bn Willow oil and gas drilling project last month. This has since faced lawsuits, so far unsuccessful, aiming to force the government to revoke permissions.