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Rick Perry: US 'blessed' to provide fossil fuels to the world

Rick Perry: US 'blessed' to provide fossil fuels to the world
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Department of Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryThe Memo: Texas could deliver political earthquake The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden blitz battleground states Texas Republicans sound post-2020 alarm bells MORE said Wednesday that the U.S. is "blessed" to provide fossil fuel to the rest of the world.

Speaking at a panel on energy transformation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Perry said countries like the United States and Saudi Arabia were "blessed" for the their abilities to provide fossil fuel globally and such countries help give the world a "better quality of life or better opportunities."

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"We're blessed to be in counties with pretty substantial abilities to deliver to the people of the globe a better quality of life to those fossil fuels," said Perry.

He added, "I think when we have a bit of a surplus and a bit more feast right now than we do famine, I think that’s good for the globe."

The oil production rates in the U.S. are currently at all-time highs. The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that average crude oil production in 2018 will increase by about 1 million barrels per day from 2017 levels. If true, it would be the highest annual average on record.

Last week, Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, said he foresees the United States becoming the "undisputed leader" in oil and gas production for "years to come."

But long-term numbers for oil production appear more bleak. Some outlooks for 2025 show production decreasing, which some fear would stress the energy market. Perry rebuffed those fears, telling the crowd, "we shouldn't buy into these terrible numbers."

"I always try to remind everyone that technology and innovation around the world can really turn all of this on its head. I don’t particularly think that it is going to be a spoiler, the American shale production," he said. "I’m a big believer that the best days are in front of us."

While Perry said he also believed in the future of renewables he said he was still on the fence about how electricity could supplement fossil fuels in products like automobiles, calling the creation of a longer lasting battery "the holy grail."

"I tend to agree with the idea that you are going to displace, in the period of time that we've discussed here, many internal combustion engine automobiles. That’s a bit of a fairy tale. That’s not going to happen," he said.

Perry, who was speaking two days before President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE is set to address the forum in Davos, said the administration's "America First" initiative is about increasing competition on fossil fuels.

"I think one of the things people are interested in is when the administration talks about 'America First,' what does that mean?" he said. "I can tell you in one word. It’s competition. That the U.S. wants to be competitive. That when your county is looking for a place to purchase [liquid natural gas], that you think about America, first."