The administration of US President Joe Biden has paused approvals for applications to export liquefied natural gas, citing the need for further study of its environmental and economic impacts.
The Department of Energy must authorize exports of LNG to countries that do not have a free trade agreement with the United States.
The Biden administration noted on Friday that the criteria the department uses to determine those permits are roughly five years old.
It stressed the pause will have no near-term impact on the delivery of LNG to allies, including Japan and European countries. European nations are working to reduce their reliance on Russian natural gas.
Climate activists and others in the US have criticized the growing production and exports of LNG.
Biden is apparently aiming to underscore his commitment to addressing climate change ahead of the presidential election in November.
The US is the world's largest exporter of LNG, with exports projected to double by 2030. Observers are waiting to see what impact stricter export approval procedures will have on LNG projects.