President Donald Trump this week trumpeted his administration’s trade message for the week, calling on the United States to be a “dominant” exporter of gas and oil.
“We will be dominant,” Trump said, using the same word – dominant – that Energy Secretary Rick Perry used when paving the way for Trump’s speech with prior messages to the media and member of Congress.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer also used the same term this week, when describing a vision of America’s expanded exports of liquified natural gas, UPI reported.
At the annual conference of the DOE’s Energy Information Administration, Trump said, “we will export American energy all over the world.” Trump also said that more permits for LNG exports had been approved in Louisiana, an executive branch decision, given it takes special licenses to export LNG to countries in which it is not explicitly permitted in a long-term trade agreement.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas sounded a more cautious note, UPI said. The bank said that growth in natural gas production had slowed down compared to recent years, warning that the economy would suffer if the administration goes ahead with its plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Related to this, the U.S. State Department this week gave its stamp of approval for a cross-border pipeline that could be the conduit for 108,000 barrels of U.S. petroleum products reaching Mexico every day. The Interior Department, in turn, started the ball rolling on what could end up as ten different five-year leases for oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and one in the Gulf of Alaska.
The Center for Biological Diversity issued a statement denouncing the move, noting the request for information that opens up inquiries from oil companies “will launch the process of creating a new nationwide offshore leasing plan that could open all U.S. waters to dangerous drilling, replacing an existing plan that protects the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans.”
“Trump just planted a big ‘for sale’ sign in America’s oceans. But oil executives who think they’ll have a free pass to drill at will need to know that coastal communities are fighting back,” said Kristen Monsell, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Selling off our seas for short-term profits is a bad deal for Americans, wildlife, and our changing climate.”
Monsell called Trump’s reversal of protections put in place by the previous administration “appalling.”
“We’ll be fighting tooth and nail to make sure his disgraceful administration doesn’t endanger polar bears, whales, local economies and our climate with more dirty drilling,” Monsell said.