The Booming Influence of U.S. Energy Exports, At Home and Abroad

by Jim Geraghty

An energetic Morning Jolt today, looking at the booming influence of American energy exports, abroad and at home…

An Energetic Presidential Welcome in Poland

Yes, there are times when President Trump seems too easygoing, naïve, or oblivious about the nature of Vladimir Putin and the Russian government. But then again, you don’t choose to go to Poland and give a speech like this if you’re a stooge of Moscow:

President Donald Trump on Thursday visibly enjoyed the praise showered on him by large crowds of flag-waving Poles in sun-splashed Krasinski Square. And the President, outside the United States for his second foreign trip, reciprocated by giving Polish leaders what they wanted: Public validation of their leadership and concerns over Russia.

Trump, in his most forceful terms to date, reaffirmed the United States support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

“To those who would criticize our tough stance, I would point out not merely with words but with its actions that we stand firmly behind Article 5, the mutual defense commitment,” Trump said. “Words are easy but actions are what matter and for its own protection, and you know this, everybody has to know this, Europe must do more.”

… Looking beyond Polish history, Trump pledged energy cooperation with Poland in a not-so-subtle knock against Russia’s use of energy as a coercive power.

“We are committed to securing your access to alternative sources of energy so Poland and its neighbors are never again held hostage to a single supplier of energy,” Trump said.

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Poland’s ambassador to the U.S., Piotr Wilczek wrote:

America’s renewed interest in our region is also visible in last month’s delivery of American liquefied natural gas to Poland. Central and Eastern Europe have long been dominated by an energy monopoly left over from the Cold War era. We no longer have to be victims of geopolitics. Thanks to the newly constructed LNG import terminals on the Baltic coast and a system of interconnected pipelines, LNG delivered by ship to Świnoujście, Poland, can be transported throughout our region and beyond. These terminals allow us to exert greater energy independence, and we look toward our American partners for continued LNG gas exports.

In fact, we may be looking at an era where the United States is an increasing superpower in the world energy markets. The Failing New York Times ™ notices that the United States is becoming a bigger and bigger oil exporter.

Oil exports grew slowly through most of 2016, but this year there has been a surge reaching 1.3 million barrels a day — roughly 15 percent of domestic production — which even at today’s depressed prices is worth more than $1.5 billion a month….

The United States still imports far more oil than it exports, and probably will continue to do so for many years. But since many American refineries were designed for heavy crudes from Mexico, Venezuela and Canada, the light shale oil from Texas is an awkward mismatch. Meanwhile, that oil is coming out of the fields in a record gush, and despite persistently low oil prices, the Energy Department projects that domestic production next year will top 10 million barrels a day, an all-time high…

Much of Texas has been in an economic slump in recent years, having lost about 100,000 oil jobs since late 2014, when the price of oil fell from over $100 a barrel to less than $50. But because of the exports, the job losses have been stemmed and there is the promise of new jobs to come. Oil executives said that if weren’t for exports, so much oil would be stockpiled in already flush domestic inventories that the American benchmark price would be $10 to $20 below the current $45 a barrel, making most new drilling uneconomical.

Even with exports and the U.S. need to refine heavy crude, gas prices at the pump this Independence Day weekend were the lowest since 2005. That’s an economic stimulus that touches just about every American, whether they drive or simply purchase goods that are transported by land. And as the U.S. exports more, that creates more jobs:

Many more jobs may be on the way. Ray Perryman, a leading Texas economist and president of the Perryman Group, a consulting firm, estimated that expanded crude exports will add more than 30,000 jobs in Corpus Christi over the next couple of decades. For the nation, 484,000 jobs could be added, nearly 60 percent of which will be in Texas, even if oil prices remain moderate to low, he estimated.

The Corner

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