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High-Energy Rick Perry Talks About Energy Week

This week is Energy Week at the White House, a week where efforts are focused on getting the message out about President Trump's plans for the nation to be good stewards of its vast natural resources.

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, who as a former Texas governor has a wealth of experience in that regard, delivered the message for the first two-thirds of Tuesday's White House Press Briefing. He projected abounding excitement for what his department—one he promised to eliminate if he had won the 2016 presidential race—will be doing:

This week, the Trump administration will bring together state, tribal, business, labor—all together, one room—happily sitting down and discussing how we're going to go forward, what the path forward is for U.S. energy dominance," he said. "And President Trump wants America to achieve energy dominance by utilizing our abundant resources for good, both here and abroad. An energy-dominant America means self-reliant, it means a secure nation, free from the geopolitical turmoil of other nations who seek to use energy as an economic weapon. An energy-dominant America will export to markets around the world, increasing our global leadership and our influence.

Perry said the U.S. has been a "net energy importer" since 1953, but the Department of Energy and the entire Trump administration have been working to reduce regulatory burdens to reverse that trend. Next year, the U.S. is on track to become a "net energy exporter"—meaning it exports more of its energy resources than it takes in from other countries.

He added that American companies are already exporting liquid natural gas to Europe and Asia, and that "unleashing our full energy potential" will lead to substantial job growth and expansion in every segment of the U.S. economy.

"This week we will also reaffirm our commitment to clean energy," he said. "That binary choice between pro-economy and pro-environment that has perpetuated—or, I should say, been perpetuated by the Obama administration has set up a false argument.

"The fact is, we can do good for both—and we will. There was one fact missing from the headlines about the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, and that is that the United States already leads the world in lowering emissions. And we've done this through innovation and technology, not by signing agreements. The Paris Agreement put the taxpayer on the hook for a costly deal. There was a billion dollars already out the door. Thankfully, this president has the good sense to step in before billions more had been committed.

"We've already seen the fruits of innovative, clean technology, like CCUS—carbon capture, utilization and sequestration. The Petra Nova plant, just on the outskirts of Houston, Texas, uses a process to remove 90 percent of the carbon dioxide after coal is burned to generate energy in a clean way. Then it uses that captured carbon for enhanced oil recovery.

"Instead of preaching about clean energy, this administration will act on it. I believe no clean energy portfolio is truly complete without nuclear power, and so does the president. If you want to see the environment and the climate that we live in affected in a positive way, you must include nuclear energy with zero emissions to your portfolio. Do it safe, do it thoughtfully, do it economically. Under the leadership of the United States, the world can benefit from that."

Perry said nuclear energy development—particularly by focusing on technology improvements—could be a "game changer" and play an important role in the Trump administration's development of the nation's clean-energy portfolio. Echoing past administration statements, he said the U.S. will have a "broad, all-of-the-above" energy portfolio that will lead to reducing trade deficits and job creation.

"We look forward to hearing from Americans this week about how we can best move forward to reduce unnecessary government regulation and bureaucracy to promote jobs and economic growth in the energy sector," he said. "For years, they have been overregulated by Washington politicians and bureaucrats who believed they knew best. The lecturing is over with, and now it's time that we listen."

Perry then took questions from the media. You can see that portion of the press conference in the video clip above.

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