Energy Secretary Rick Perry characterized the recent boom in natural gas exports as a development the U.S. can use to spread freedom all over the world.
Shipping the country’s vast reserves of natural gas to far-flung parts of the world is akin to “exporting freedom,” Perry told Fox Business’s “Mornings with Maria” in an interview Wednesday from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“We’re exporting to our allies in Europe the opportunity to truly have a choice of where do you buy your energy from. That’s freedom. And that kind of freedom is priceless,” he said of U.S.’ fossil fuel production, especially that of natural gas.
American gas exports are not a source for diplomatic posturing, Perry said. “The United States isn’t about controlling a country with this energy. It’s about literally freeing up our allies around the world, letting them know that we’re going to be there for them.”
The country’s status as a net exporter is expected to expand well beyond 2017 because of a growing amount of exports to Mexico and a decline in imports from Canada, according to an Energy Information Administration report last year. The U.S. became the world’s largest natural gas producer in 2009 after the country surpassed Russia.
Mexico, for one, is updating its pipeline infrastructure to make way for future imports from the U.S. Its appetite for natural gas has grown rapidly, as Mexico’s energy industry expects to increase its natural gas use for electric power generation by about 50 percent over the next five years.
Perry made the comments at this year’s WEF, a yearly conference that scientists, world leaders, and global businessman attend to tackle climate change and other issues sophisticates believe hurt commerce.
Scientists attended this year to convince global leaders to take drastic actions to fight global warming. Climate has been a major topic of past Davos meetings, and even though most of the world signed onto the Paris climate accord, experts fear it’s not enough to stop “dangerous” warming.
President Donald Trump is slated to attend the conference and give the closing talk.
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