Under Trump, America Became a Net Exporter of Natural Gas and Crude Oil for the First Time in More than Fifty Years

TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump waves as he leaves a rally at Tucson International Air
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The following is an excerpt from 50 Things They Don’t Want You to Know About Trump, the new book by Breitbart News Entertainment Editor Jerome Hudson.

50 Things They Don’t Want You to Know About Trump is available for purchase here. The excerpt is from pages 151-155.

The Trump administration has championed the responsible cultivation of America’s plentiful energy resources, including oil and natural gas. The president’s policy positions, as such, have been geared toward expanding oil drilling and natural gas exploitation as a means to boost the country’s economy, save Americans money through lower energy prices, and increase America’s national security through reduced dependence on foreign oil.

Much of America’s energy boom during Trump’s tenure can be attributed to his stated strategy of “energy dominance.” The White House’s Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) 2020 report found that in 2017 the United States became a net exporter of natural gas. It was a feat not seen since 1958. Further amplifying Trump’s success in boosting America’s energy boom, the United States became a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products and will likely remain a net exporter for all of 2020 for the first time since 1949.

The CEA contended that the country’s growth and dominance in the fossil fuel sector has boosted the economy and has fortified national security. “The innovation-driven surge in production and exports has made the U.S. economy more resilient to global price spikes. It has also improved the country’s geopolitical flexibility and influence, as evidenced by concurrent sanctions on two major oil-producing countries, Iran and Venezuela,” the CEA report said.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasted in January 2020 that American natural gas exports will almost double by 2021 to an average of 7.3 billion cubic feet per day. The EIA said that the growth in U.S. net exports has been led primarily by increases in liquified natural gas (LNG) and pipeline exports to Mexico. The federal energy agency also noted that in 2019 “growth in demand for U.S. natural gas exports exceeded growth in natural gas consumption in the U.S. electric power sector.” The explosion in natural gas has lowered American energy prices, leaving more Americans with more money to save and invest in their future.

The CEA found that the shale revolution in natural gas has saved American consumers $203 billion every year, which amounts to an average of $2,500 in savings for a family of four. “Nearly 80 percent of the savings stem from a substantially lower price for natural gas, of which more than half comes through lower electricity prices,” the CEA said.

The economic adviser group also noted that the reduction in energy prices has especially helped America’s lower-income families. “Because lower-income households spend a larger share of their income on energy bills, the savings have greater relative importance for them,” the Council of Economic Advisers wrote. “Energy savings represent 6.8 percent of income for the lowest fifth of households, compared with 1.3 percent for the highest fifth. In other words, lower energy prices are like a progressive tax cut that helps the lowest households the most.”

The explosion in natural gas exports has not only helped American economic well-being and national security, but it has also helped the country reduce its carbon dioxide emissions at a level not previously thought possible.

“In its 2006 Annual Energy Outlook, the EIA projected a 16.5 percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 to 2018 Actual emissions decreased by about 12 percent. Actual energy-related carbon emissions for 2018 were 24 percent lower than projected in 2006,” the CEA explained. “Some of the decline is because projections assumed greater GDP growth and therefore greater electricity demand than what actually occurred, in part because of the Great Recession and slow recovery. An important part of the decline, however, stems from lower natural gas prices reducing reliance on electricity generated from coal. Over the period, the proportion of generation from coal-fired power plants fell from 50 percent to 28 percent, while the share from natural gas increased from 19 percent to 35 percent.”

The United States’ production in natural gas has even enabled the country to reduce total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions faster than the entire European Union (EU). This is even more outstanding considering that the EU developed and expanded an “increasingly stringent cap-and-trade” climate change program across the bloc of nations. “Although it substantially raised electricity prices for consumers . . . the system helped the European Union achieve a 20 percent decline in GDP-adjusted emissions from 2005 to 2017, the most recent year of data,” the White House CEA revealed. “Over the same period, emissions fell by 28 percent in the United States, which did not implement a national cap-and-trade system, although various States have pursued policies to cap emissions.”

The expansion of natural gas production has largely been a product of hydraulic fracturing, or more commonly known as fracking. Most states allow fracking; however, Maryland, Vermont, and New York have banned it.

New York and Pennsylvania have shale natural gas resources; however, New York has not benefitted from the nationwide fracking shale revolution. “The difference in energy-related outcomes in the two States is stark. Development of the Marcellus and Utica Shale in Pennsylvania caused natural gas production to increase 10-fold from 2010 to 2017. Over the same period, New York’s production fell by nearly 70 percent. Pennsylvania leads the country in net exports of electricity to other States and produces more than twice the amount of energy it consumes,” a CEA report noted. “New York, in contrast, has grown more dependent on electricity generated elsewhere; and in 2017, the State consumed four times as much energy as it produced. Despite the growth in energy production in Pennsylvania, total energy-related carbon dioxide emissions fell 15 percent from 2010 to 2016, the most recent year of data, twice as much as in New York (7 percent). The greater decline in Pennsylvania stems from larger reductions in the electric power sector.”

Further, the Trump administration has doubled the volume of LNG for export, which has nearly doubled the capacity to sell across the world as of October 2019. “The Trump Administration’s deregulatory policies aim to support private sector innovation and initiative by reducing excessively prescriptive government regulation. In doing so, the Administration seeks to further unleash the country’s abundant human and energy resources,” the CEA said.


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