(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) America is emerging as a global energy leader thanks to Trump's sweeping tax reforms, de-regulation of the energy sector and innovation, a top US official has said.
Speaking on the second day of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, Dan Brouillette, Deputy Secretary, US Department of Energy, said America is producing energy more cleanly and abundantly than ever before because of innovation and deregulation.
"After a long drawn-out battle between innovation and regulation, innovation is finally winning. Simply stating, an innovation and technology revolution is leading to an astonishing renaissance in American energy."
"For years, America has been producing too little energy. Meanwhile, our leaders and policy makers were making a bad situation even worse. As supply of fuel and prices rose, they imposed price control in oil and gas that led to further declines in production. And in the name of protecting the environment, they played the energy favourites by subsidising some sources. Coal and nuclear power were buried under an avalanche of punitive regulations. They chose to regulate than innovate their way out of America's energy dilemmas," said the Deputy Secretary.
But Trump, he said, with his vision of global energy dominance, has brought sweeping tax and regulatory reforms to Washington.
He said the latest tax reductions is most ambitious in more than a quarter of a century. "Today, the US is becoming a net natural gas exporter. But in the coming years, it will become a net energy exporter."
According to him, coal and nuclear plants were being retired at a disturbing rate in America because of draconian laws.
"Excess of regulation impeded the building of nuclear reactors. It drove up the construction costs to exorbitant levels and threatened the operations of existing reactors. The war on coal thwarted the construction of cleaner and more advanced power plants and discouraged investments in new mining operations. The effects were adverse."
By quoting the success story of Texas, Brouillette said research and innovation led to the rise of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, leading to a natural gas renaissance in America. "Texas reduced taxes and held the line on regulation, and with right incentives and the freedom to innovate, clean energy technologies also increased. From fossil fuels to wind, from solar to hydro, supply rose, costs fell and efficiencies increased. That same technology revolution that brought us the energy revolution."
But even as America's economy grew, carbon emissions fell by three per cent, claimed Brouillette. "The lesson is obvious. Once we innovate, we unleash the technology to grow our economy and make our environment cleaner."
Anjana Sankar Anjana Sankar is a journalist by profession and a humanist by passion. Her cluttered desk is not indicative of her state of mind.