President Donald Trump touted his “energy dominance” agenda at the World Economic Forum Friday, remarking that “no country should be held hostage to a single provider of energy.”
It’s a not-so-subtle rebuke of Russia, which has dominated European energy markets for decades. The U.S. became a net exporter of natural gas in 2017, largely from liquefied natural gas shipments abroad.
“My administration is also taking swift action in other ways to restore American confidence and independence,” Trump said in his speech at Davos, Switzerland.
“We are lifting self-imposed restrictions on energy production to provide affordable power to our citizens and businesses, and to promote energy security for our friends all around the world. No country should be held hostage to a single provider of energy,” he said.
While the natural gas production boom began during the Obama administration, exports exploded under Trump’s watch as more export terminals come online. Exports are expected to grow in 2018 as “new export terminals in Maryland, Georgia, Texas, and Louisiana come online,” according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Growing U.S. oil and gas exports threaten Russian dominance over European markets. Russian gas will still be competitive, but U.S. exports allow countries traditionally reliant on high-priced Russian gas an alternative.
Poland received its first shipment of U.S. liquefied gas exports in July, undermining the grip Russia has on the country. Europeans in general have become more wary of Russian influence over energy markets.
Trump’s remarks on energy at Davos mirror what Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Wednesday.
“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,” Perry said while in Davos.
The U.S. has been the world’s top producer of oil and natural gas for the past five years, according to EIA.
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