Perry: US to become net energy exporter within 18 months

Perry: US to become net energy exporter within 18 months
© Greg Nash

Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push resolution to battle climate change, sluggish economy and racial injustice | Senators reach compromise on greenhouse gas amendment stalling energy bill | Trump courts Florida voters with offshore drilling moratorium OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs major conservation bill into law | Senate votes to confirm Energy's No. 2 official | Trump Jr. expresses opposition to Pebble Mine project Senate votes to confirm Energy's No. 2 official MORE on Tuesday predicted that the United States will become a net exporter of energy within the next 18 months, an outlook that seemingly clashes with his department's data office.

“Here we are, the No. 1 oil and gas producing country in the world now,” he said on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.”

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“In just a few years, probably within the next 12 to 18 months, we will become a net exporting energy country.”

Reaching net energy exports will mean that the United States exports more energy than it imports.

Perry’s forecast doesn't match the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the data office within his own department.

The EIA predicted earlier this year in its Annual Energy Outlook that the United States would become a net exporter in 2022, two years later than Perry’s expectation.

That analysis, however, said 2020 is a possibility in a case in which the nation’s oil and natural gas resources and technology prove to be better than predicted.

Perry credited the approaching milestone at least somewhat to advances in oil and natural gas production like hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling.

But he also more generally credited President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE and the GOP policy changes since the beginning of last year.

“It’s been this mindset that, you know, you can spend your money and have a chance to have a return on your investment. So the tax bill that was passed, the regulations,” he said.

“People know now that they can build an LNG plant and it’s not going to get locked up, or a pipeline. You think about the pipelines that got stopped by the previous administration. Because if you can’t move this energy to the marketplace, it’s going to have a real negative effect on people going out and spending money.”

Oil and natural gas production have increased significantly in recent years, as have exports of both. But the United States still imports millions of barrels of oil every day.