Perry: US ‘not just exporting energy, we’re exporting freedom’

Perry: US ‘not just exporting energy, we’re exporting freedom’
© Camille Fine

Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryTrump names Mulvaney acting chief of staff Chris Christie declines White House chief of staff role Trump says he's down to five candidates for chief of staff MORE characterized the Trump administration’s energy agenda as a world-changing development that spreads freedom around the globe.

Perry framed exports of fossil fuels like oil, natural gas and coal as a central part of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden, Sanders lead field in Iowa poll The Memo: Cohen fans flames around Trump Memo Comey used to brief Trump on dossier released: report MORE’s “Energy Dominance” agenda, in which the administration is aiming to dramatically increase the domestic production of fossil fuels.

“The United States is not just exporting energy, we’re exporting freedom,” Perry said on Fox Business’s “Mornings with Maria” in an interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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“We’re exporting to our allies in Europe the opportunity to truly have a choice of where do you buy your energy from. That’s freedom. And that kind of freedom is priceless.”

The former Texas governor further cited the estimate from numerous sources, like the International Energy Agency, that the United States will become the world’s top oil producer this year. It is already the top natural gas producer.

“I'm not sure anything since World War II has been any more dynamic, from my perspective, than the shift in energy supply, energy control if you will,” Perry said of the domestic oil and gas boom of the last decade.

“The United States isn’t about controlling a country with this energy. It’s about literally freeing up our allies around the world, letting them know that we’re going to be there for them. There’s no strings attached when you buy American [liquid natural gas]. So that’s world-changing.”

Perry said that the United States has an “amazing” supply of oil and natural gas, citing Trump’s offshore drilling plan and Congress’s plan to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.

He waded briefly into Trump’s Monday decision to impose steep tariffs on imported solar panels and washers, saying it’s a sign of the rules under which Trump thinks countries should trade with the United States.

“We shouldn’t be worrying about this administration from the standpoint of transparency and fairness. That’s what Donald Trump’s all about,” Perry said.

“You want to compete against the United States? Bring it. But don’t subsidize in a way that is unfair. Don’t get into the market and try to gobble all the market, and then all of the sudden, after you’ve choked everybody else out of the market, guess what, prices go up.”

Free-market Republicans have joined affected industries like solar panel installers and appliance companies in criticizing Trump’s tariffs, saying they represent an abandonment of free-trade principles.