The United States is “practically” at a point of energy independence, Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Tuesday.
“It is clear, I have heard a number of terms used, [like] energy dominance and independence,” Perry told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
“All of those are true. The point is, the United States 15 years ago, we were kind of done from an energy standpoint.”
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is interested in America’s performance, and that’s why he backed out of the Paris climate accord.
“He basically said, ‘look, it’s putting America in an disadvantaged position from the standpoint of China and India,'” said Perry. Those countries weren’t having to meet emissions standards like the United States.
U.S. emissions are down, though, he stressed.
“We are changing over to cleaner-burning natural gas,” Perry said. “Clean coal is being put into the marketplace. We opened one of the largest carbon capture utilization sequestration processes in the world outside of Houston.”
About 12 years ago, though, experts thought that the United States had reached “peak oil” meaning that even if any more oil was found, it would be too expensive to produce.
“Here we are, the number-one oil and gas producing country in the world now in just a few years,” said Perry. In just s few years, probably within the next 12 to 18 months, we will become a net exporting energy country.”
The change is due to many different factors, said Perry, including the growth of technology and innovation that has turned the nation’s shale fields into productive places.
“It’s also been particularly in the last 18 months, this mindset that you can spend your money and have a chance to have a return on your investment,” said Perry. “The tax bill that was passed, the regulations, I mean, people know now that they can build a plant and it’s not going to get locked up, or a pipeline.”
The Obama administration stopped many pipelines, which also hindered energy growth, said Perry.
“If you can’t move this energy to the marketplace, it’s going to have a real negative effect on people going out and spending the money,” said Perry. “Energy is driving not only the economy, the geopolitics of the world, 10 years ago we were reliant upon maybe some countries that didn’t have our best interest in mind.”
Now, the United States is able to deliver energy to other countries, including Europe.
“You saw the European Union president come in here, the president of the EU is making a deal on American energy,” said Perry.
“Think about how that changes the balance of power when the Russians were the only people that the Europeans were able to get gas from, and now we are being able to give it to them with no strings attached, I might add.”
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