On March 12, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo delivered the keynote address at CERAWeek’s “Reshaping the Energy Future” conference in Houston, Texas, which was attended by business leaders and foreign dignitaries from around the world. In his remarks, the Secretary addressed how America’s energy revolution strengthens national security in an age of renewed great power competition.
Secretary Pompeo highlighted that in August 2018, the United States surpassed Russia to become the world’s top energy producer. In terms of global supply, U.S. oil production rose at the fastest pace in history — the largest one-year increase in oil production that the world has ever seen. To put this important progress in context, the Secretary reflected on our past energy dependence noting, “only about a decade ago, we did live in a world where we imported 60 percent of our oil, and now we’ve shrugged off that oak of energy dependence.” The Secretary pointed to advances in oil, natural gas, and renewable energy and shared his optimism for an even a brighter future in each of these areas.
The Secretary’s remarks focused on what this newfound energy abundance means for U.S. foreign policy. “Put simply,” he shared, “Our plentiful oil supplies allow us to help our friends secure diversity for their energy resources. We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the NordStream II project any more than we ourselves want to depend on Venezuela for our oil supplies.” This desperate need for energy diversification, he underscored, is the reason the United States exported more crude oil last year to countries all across the globe.
Secretary Pompeo highlighted that while we’re helping other countries find energy security, we’re also sharing American values. He stated, “We’re not just exporting American energy, we’re exporting our commercial value system to our friends and to our partners. The more we can spread the United States model of free enterprise, of the rule of law, of diversity and stability, of transparency and transactions, the more successful the United States will be and the more successful and secure the American people will be.”
The Secretary emphasized the importance of the U.S. model, particularly when countries like China, Russia, Syria, Iran, and Venezuela don’t play by the same set of rules. “Our model matters now, frankly, more than ever in an era of great power rivalry and competition where some nations are using their energy for malign ends, and not to promote prosperity in the way we do here in the West. They don’t have the values of freedom and liberty, of the rule of law that we do, and they’re using their energy to destroy ours,” he said.
The Secretary underscored the Administration’s conviction that America’s interests can be furthered through the tools of diplomacy and outlined three ways we can do this: facilitating investment, promoting energy security by encouraging countries to partner with the United States, and by pushing bad actors – those who use their energy towards malign ends – off the target.
Secretary Pompeo emphasized that the State Department wants to work with American companies and foreign companies alike to achieve these goals, and not only make America more secure, but also the world.
Secretary Pompeo underlined the critical role of the private sector in achieving these goals, noting “We need each other. It is American producers, working in tandem with American diplomats, who can create this stability and prosperity all around the world.”
The Secretary concluded his remarks by calling on countries around the world to work with the United States. He said, “Come follow America’s energy blueprint, which is to innovate, not subjugate; to contribute, not to coerce; to allow markets to command the heights.”