As Secretary of Energy, I lead a Department that has developed some of the world’s most astonishing and significant innovations.
From ushering in the LED lighting revolution to facilitating a new era of oil and gas abundance, the people who work at DOE and our National Laboratories have helped transform today’s energy landscape.
And tomorrow can deliver even greater achievement. Their work on Artificial Intelligence has the potential to touch every corner of life, including every area of energy, from improving energy efficiency to bolstering grid security.
Their work will build on America’s astounding energy success story. Thanks to innovation, we are producing a wider range of fuels more abundantly and affordably while using them more cleanly and efficiently than ever.
And today, the Trump Administration is deploying every one of our energy sources as part of a balanced energy strategy, bringing us to the dawn of what I call the New American Energy Era.
America is now the world’s second biggest generator of wind and solar power — and its number one oil and natural gas producer.
We export our liquefied natural gas (LNG) to 36 countries spanning five continents. We also expect to become a net energy exporter next year and for decades to come.
Thanks to innovation, we have more than enough energy to share with the world, and with it comes freedom of choice for energy consumers everywhere, including places where it has never previously existed.
For those countries, choice means this: If they were bound to just one nation for their energy needs, they are bound no more. If they were restricted to just one energy source for those needs, they are restricted no more. If they were compelled to depend on just one energy route for those needs, they are compelled no more.
The implications are monumental.
By exporting our energy bounty, particularly our natural gas, we are freeing friends and allies, especially in Europe, from decades of dependence on unfriendly nations that have long wielded their energy supply as a political weapon.
And we are poised to share not just our abundant energy but the same innovative technology that unleashed it in the first place. We are ready to provide other countries the means to create their own energy revolutions. That includes some of the world’s poorest nations where hundreds of millions of people live without any electricity.
We can best help these nations break out of energy poverty by doing for them what we are doing for ourselves. The United States can offer them the fuels and technologies we have and allow them to decide which combination works best to provide the necessary power to drive their development. We reject the notion of a tradeoff between robust economic and energy development and environmental progress. We believe that, even for fuels that produce emissions, the answer is not to drive out the fuels by regulation but to drive down the emissions through innovation.
And by any measure, our approach is succeeding.
In the same way we made unprecedented progress in energy production, we are making our energy cleaner.
We are doing it through innovation, much of it in our National Laboratories.
In recent decades, our labs have developed technologies to achieve spectacular reductions in emissions from coal-fired generation. And through the technology of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), we are on a path to further reductions.
And the irony is that through innovation, the U.S. — the world’s leading oil and gas producer — also leads every signatory to the Paris climate accord, as well as every other nation, in reducing energy-related carbon emissions.
In this New American Energy Era we have entered, spurred by innovation and armed with every fuel at our disposal, we will pursue and achieve our shared goal of advancing prosperity and security while protecting the environment for this generation and generations to come.
Rick Perry is the U.S. Secretary of Energy.