Energy Secretary Rick Perry lead today’s White House Briefing with a robust discussion of U.S. energy policy in the age of Obama versus how the Trump Administration hopes to bring it into the 21st century. Perry reflected, “For years, Washington stood in the way of our energy dominance, and that changes now,” showing the administration’s willingness to lift regulations that have slowed advancement and driven up costs, Perry asserted that “instead of preaching about clean energy, this administration will act on it!”
Part of the re-assessment of U.S. Energy involved a re-dedication to nuclear power, one of the most efficient “clean” energy sources that much of Europe has come to currently rely on. Perry discussed the shift in nuclear perceptions since the 60s, lamenting that during his childhood, children used to want to grow up to be nuclear engineers and scientists before the false vilification of nuclear as a reliable and stable energy source. “Let’s make nuclear energy cool again!” Perry announced.’
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Perry spoke to the administration’s “commitment to clean energy,” urging the development of technology that captures carbon dioxide from fossil fuel emissions and the need to secure the country’s ailing nuclear power industry. But he did so as part of an “all of the above strategy,” in which fossil fuels, including coal, nuclear energy and renewable sources like wind and solar all compete in a free market to reduce U.S. energy costs.
Growing domestic fossil fuels even as efforts to curtail their use gain momentum around the world is likely to pose a serious challenge for Trump and his administration. Trump has made reviving coal a particular focus, but the outlook for that industry is particularly daunting, considering the competition from cheaper and cleaner natural gas, said Bud Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University.
“I don’t know how realistic [Trump] is,” he said. “He’s catering to a constituency that got him elected.”
Under the strategy laid out by Perry, regulatory reform would eventually increase production across domestic oil and gas fields and coal mines, providing enough energy to supply the country’s own needs and those of its trading partners abroad while growing the nation’s economy.
He pointed to the newly formed U.S. LNG industry that is now delivering natural gas from Texas and other domestic fields around the world. And the energy secretary said he hoped to one day see similar market demand for U.S. coal, explaining he had already broached the topic with officials in China and Ukraine.
“These collective actions are just the beginning of our America First energy strategy that has us well on our way to energy dominance,” he said. “Unleashing our full energy potential in this country will lead to very robust job growth and expansion in every sector of our economy.”