Trump vows to ‘unleash’ American energy but unveils only modest new steps – Washington Post

President Trump speaks on Thursday at the Energy Department in Washington. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump vowed to “unleash American energy” on Thursday, pledging to bolster the ailing nuclear industry, open up new offshore areas for drilling, and help seal deals for oil pipelines and coal exports.

Riding a wave of shale drilling that doubled the country’s total oil and gas production during the Obama administration, Trump said: “We’re here today to usher in a new American energy policy, one that unlocks millions and millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in wealth.”

But energy experts were not impressed with the measures Trump unveiled Thursday, saying they would have little effect.

“It’s energy week — ‘W-E-A-K.’ It’s kind of disappointing,” said David Goldwyn, president of Goldwyn Global Strategies and formerly the top energy official at the State Department under President Obama. “I don’t know why you set yourself up for a big announcement like this if you’re not really ready to announce anything that would be material.”

Trump repeatedly made reference to the conventional wisdom that dominated the oil industry for half a century that the country was fast approaching a peak in oil and gas production. It was, he said, “a big beautiful myth. Fake.”

“We’re going to be an exporter,” he said. “We’re going to export energy all around the world, all around the globe.” And he celebrated “near limitless supplies of energy” in the United States, adding: “We are now on the cusp of a true energy revolution.”

The United States exports liquefied natural gas (LNG) in tankers, natural gas through pipelines, and petroleum, though it remains a net importer of 4.8 million barrels a day of crude oil and refined petroleum products — about a quarter of total U.S. oil consumption.

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