Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke reiterated Wednesday that energy development in the U.S. is driving economic growth while securing America’s future against threats to the nation’s energy supply, Western Wire reports.

Zinke delivered the remarks at the Western Caucus Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Gala in Washington, D.C. The foundation advocates to lawmakers and informs the public on property rights, local control, economics, and energy independence.

“As a father and former [Navy SEALs] commander, I don’t want your children to see what I’ve seen, quite frankly,” Zinke said, according to the Western Wire. “There’s a reason to fight but energy is not one of them when we have it here.”

The high cost of material, labor and regulations in the U.S. means that American businesses have to find other ways to have competitive prices. Increasingly efficient technology has bolstered domestic energy production and other industries.

“This country has risen to the occasion. We’re producing 10.7 million barrels per day. We have surpassed Saudi Arabia. By the third quarter of this year, we will surpass Russia. We will be the largest producer in the world on oil and gas,” Zinke said. “The economy is driven by energy. That’s not just gasoline in your car but manufacturing, as well.”

“It is better to produce energy in this country under reasonable regulation, than watch it get produced overseas with none,” Zinke said. “If you don’t believe me, I’ll take you on a tour of the Middle East and Africa and show you how not to produce energy.”

The U.S. is becoming the “undisputed global oil and gas leader,” International Energy Agency chief Fatih Birol testified in January.

“The remarkable ability of producers to unlock new resources cost-effectively pushes the combined United States oil and gas output in 2040 to a level 50% higher than any other country has ever managed,” Birol told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

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This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller

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