By U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette
The rise and spread of COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the health and well-being of countless people across the globe.
The pandemic has also had a dramatic impact on energy markets, both in the United States and abroad, resulting in enormous declines in the global demand for crude oil. Energy prices were already falling precipitously when another shock hit: the destructive surge in output from key energy producing nations following the March 6 collapse of the OPEC-Plus negotiations.
Energy production is now down significantly, in part due to recent efforts to stabilize markets. Our Energy Information Administration estimates that it will be about 18 months before U.S. demand for liquid fuels returns to previous levels.
Challenging as today's environment is, it could be far worse. Imagine if this combination of energy shocks had hit the U.S. in the 1970s. What would we have been able to do? We would be in a fundamentally different position (a far more powerless position) since the U.S. was then dependent on oil imports for nearly 50% of its consumption.
We were energy dependent. And because of that, our nation's economy and industry and perhaps even our security were at the whim of decisions made by energy cartels.
That comes in dramatic contrast to today. Under President Trump's leadership, this administration has put in place an energy strategy and policies that have helped us achieve energy independence.
The U.S. is now the world's largest producer and consumer of energy.
Because of this, and because of our still-incredible energy production capacity, we do not just have a seat at the table — we are able to set the table. We are able to engage, with strength and authority, our counterparts in energy-producing nations.
When shocks hit energy markets last month, we were able to negotiate from a position of strength to bring the two co-chairmen of OPEC-Plus (Saudi Arabia and Russia) to the table and to reach a deal with the members of OPEC-Plus that benefits the U.S.
Whereas in the past we were at the mercy of energy-producing nations, today we can put pressure on OPEC and work with its members to bring stability to oil markets, setting the table for a return to prosperity. What has happened is proof positive of a new global paradigm, and its importance cannot be overstated.
This new reality is a direct consequence of Trump's prioritizing American energy independence and enacting smart policies to make it a reality — right-sizing regulations, cutting bureaucratic red tape, cutting taxes, advocating for American energy exports, and focusing the U.S. Department of Energy on next-generation energy innovation. As long as we are producing, we can continue to look after our interests. And as long as we are consuming, cartels will look for access to our economy, and for mutually beneficial energy engagements.
Because of this new reality of American energy independence, Trump can make policy decisions with his hands untied and with our interests firmly in mind. It is clear evidence that energy independence is the right policy, and that our all-of-the-above approach is the right strategy.
American energy independence will allow this president and future U.S. presidents to keep negotiating from a position of strength and to project America's power for good in the world.
Until then, we will continue our efforts to bring stability to energy markets and protect American energy producers. It is important to support domestic producers today, so that energy prices don't spike tomorrow and undermine a strong economic rebound.
In the last two months, our energy markets have been challenged in unprecedented ways. Yet because of the nation's new energy independence, we are overcoming those challenges like never before. Stability has been brought to the markets, we have new confidence in their resiliency, and together, we have the hope for better days, for an end to the crisis, and a return to prosperity.
It's going to happen, and America will lead the way.
U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette says the U.S. government is taking "aggressive and appropriate steps" to help oil companies during the current glut in supply. He speaks with Bloomberg's David Westin on "Balance of Power."
While extremely low gas prices are great for consumers, negative oil prices threaten U.S. oil production and the American jobs that go with it, and that industry can't be allowed to fail, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette tells Newsmax TV.
Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette calls into ‘Power Lunch’ to discuss the collapse of oil markets and give insight from the White House.