Energy Secretary Rick Perry is bullish on oil and gas production, telling Fox News on Tuesday morning the U.S. will probably become a net energy exporter “within the next 12 to 18 months.”
“Here we are, the number one oil and gas producing country in the world now,” Perry said on “Fox and Friends.” “In just a few years, probably within the next 12 to 18 months, we will become a net exporting energy country.”
Perry was echoing findings of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Energy Department’s statistics arm. EIA’s annual outlook presented two scenarios where the U.S. becomes a net energy exporter in 2020 or sooner.
But for the U.S. exporters to outpace imports by 2020, certain conditions need to be met, including high oil prices, lots of resources and rapid technological improvements. Otherwise, EIA projects net U.S. energy exports by 2022.
So while Perry is a bit more bullish than EIA, he’s not outside the realm of what energy analysts think could happen, especially given the unexpected success of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
Becoming a net energy exporter has long been seen as a hallmark of “energy independence” — the ever-elusive goal of U.S. politicians in the decades after the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s. The idea is for the U.S. to reduce its reliance on foreign sources of energy, or to at least produce enough to offset loss of foreign supplies.
U.S. energy imports have fallen in recent years as oil and gas production increased to offset foreign supplies. Perry also credited GOP-led tax cuts passed in 2017 and the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda for the boom in production.
“It’s been this mindset that, you know, you can spend your money and have a chance to have a return on your investment. So the tax bill that was passed, the regulations,” Perry said.
“Because if you can’t move this energy to the marketplace, it’s going to have a real negative effect on people going out and spending money,” he said.
This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller