US officials are considering ending President Joe Biden’s pause on approvals for LNG exports in a move that could help gain support for a Ukraine aid package in Congress.

Two White House sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that officials will wait to see the entire package proposal before making a final decision.

At the end of January, the Biden administration announced a temporary ban on LNG exports to countries with which it does not have free trade agreements and allowing the Department of Energy (DOE) to investigate the environmental impacts of LNG export projects. The ban has been met with scorn from Republicans, with the Republican-held House passing a bill to reverse the decision in February and 16 red states filing a lawsuit against it in March, claiming it had no “factual or legal basis”.

Speaking on Fox News on Sunday, Republican US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson suggested that lifting the ban could make his party more likely to form a consensus with the Democrats to support Ukraine.

“We want to have natural gas exports that will help unfund (Russian President) Vladimir Putin’s war effort there,” he said.

However, a White House spokesman refuted the Reuters report that suggested the administration could be willing to reverse the pause in LNG exports.

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“The President supports the pause on pending, additional approvals of LNG export licenses to evaluate the economic and climate impacts on consumers and communities,” the spokesman told Reuters.

The US was the world’s largest exporter of LNG in 2023, with 61% of its exports bound for Europe. The importance of US LNG exports for energy security has increased in the past two years following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent attempts to move away from Russian gas.

Capacity to export LNG in the US is expected to double before the end of the decade due to the materialisation of projects that have already been approved.