Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Energy Resources, Library of Congress
Francis R. Fannon
As prepared for delivery:
I am honored to speak before so many distinguished members of the United States Congress. I am pleased that my first public remarks in my new role are before a Congressional audience.
Until this job, my role as counsel to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works was my most professionally satisfying. During that time, I drafted and negotiated provisions of the landmark Energy Policy Act of 2005 which included the hydraulic fracturing provisions that helped to unleash today’s energy abundance.
At that time, Congress was holding oversight hearings on U.S. gas security. Businesses were relocating to other parts of the world because of insufficient gas supplies, and companies were permitting liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals. It is from this perspective that I recognize that the United States stands at a strategic pivot in the history of global energy markets.
Today, ours is a story of energy abundance. The United States is now the largest oil and gas producer in the world. The U.S. produces 775 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually and will produce 1 trillion cubic meters per year as soon as 2025. U.S. LNG exports are on the rise, both from the Gulf of Mexico, and now from just an hour from the Library of Congress at Cove Point, with more projects coming on line. U.S. natural gas is increasing the energy resilience of more than two dozen countries.
It is in the U.S. interest to foster a market-driven global gas market. Free markets prevent countries from using gas for political purposes, and drive economic growth across the world. This is a vital National Security Strategy goal that guides our efforts at the State Department.
U.S. diplomacy promotes the diversification of energy sources, supplies, and routes globally so that our allies and partners worldwide are more resilient and can defend against other countries’ attempts to use energy to coerce.
The United States, for its part, will not use energy to coerce. We will remain a reliable energy partner and will not “shut off the gas” when others need it the most. Our goal is to keep markets open, transparent, and free of manipulation and political coercion.
U.S. LNG is one of the most reliable energy sources now available to the world. The State Department is engaging through an all-of-government approach. We promote exports of all forms of energy technologies and services. We advance U.S. companies, open new markets, and level playing fields around the world.
To our foreign dignitaries here today, let me say that we are here to support countries looking for reliable and affordable energy resources. The Department of State and our Bureau of Energy Resources provide technical assistance to countries who understand that a vibrant and resilient economy is one that has multiple energy options and suppliers. The U.S. learned this lesson well in the 1970s and we are ready to assist countries to avoid our own mistakes.
But we need the help of our international partners, as we must all work together to build the necessary infrastructure. Import terminals and pipelines are critical to catalyze a meaningful global gas market that provides increased security for all of us.
To our private sector guests, let me underscore that the Department of State is eager to help U.S. companies access new international markets. We, along with our 1,500 economic officers at embassies worldwide, are here for you.
In conclusion, thank you for your efforts and for being part of this global energy system transformation. My colleagues and I look forward to working with you to advance global energy security. Thank you.