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Mike Pompeo Says the U.S. Oil-and-Gas Boom Is a Vital Diplomatic Tool

Do you share Pompeo's view?

by Axios | Updated on 3.13.19

HOUSTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a room full of energy executives last night that the U.S. oil-and-gas boom is a vital diplomatic and commercial tool in support of the country's foreign policy goals.

Why it matters: As Reuters and others pointed out, the speech was notable in its enlistment of the industry as an ally to advance U.S. geopolitical goals. It casts the U.S. rise into a petro-superpower as a check on Iran, Russia and elsewhere. He also talked up efforts to help allies develop their own resources.

Speaking at the big CERAWeek by IHS Markit event, Pompeo said...

"We're not just exporting American energy, we're exporting our commercial value system to our friends and to our partners."
"Our model matters now, frankly, more than ever in an era of great power rivalry and competition where some nations are using their energy for malign ends."

Our thought bubble: Pompeo's speech marks the Trump administration's dueling continuity and rupture with the Obama administration.

  • The idea of using U.S. LNG exports to weaken Russia's energy influence in Europe dates back to the Obama years.
  • The fracking-driven U.S. oil boom gave the Obama administration leeway to bring other countries on board with sanctions against Iran that helped lead to the Iran nuclear deal.

But for the Trump administration, that oil surge is a leverage point for a very different strategy of trying to isolate Iran with new sanctions now that the U.S. has walked away from the nuclear agreement.

  • "We'll continue with sanctions until Iran behaves in the way normal nations do, without threatening assassination campaigns in Europe, conducting terror campaigns throughout Syria and Iraq, without underwriting Hizballah," Pompeo said.

And the speech was also noteworthy for the absence of emphasis on climate change and the environment, in contrast to State's diplomatic push — especially with China — during the Obama years.

Go deeper:

  • Read the speech
  • Trump’s Secretary of State Wants Energy Companies to Help Spread U.S. Values (WSJ)
Axios

Written by Axios

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(46)
  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
    ···

    Well, you can put spin in anything when you have no conscience. This is especially true when there really is no progress or benefits to the Citizens coming from this Republican regime. Calling oil and gas boom progress or success is like saying we have increased efficiencies and productivity of our Catapults and are the world leaders in Catapult technology and wars.

    Like (14)
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  • burrkitty
    Voted Maybe
    03/13/2019
    ···

    Eeehhhh... yeah, sort of, but not for any of the reasons he said. The major effect that our oil and gas boom has got nothing to do with our exports. It has to do with our drop in external consumption. I’ve said this before, but energy independence is a nation security concern and it’s one more reason we should focus heavily on getting into renewable energies. Our country‘s national security is a weakened by dependence on foreign oil and foreign energy and we shouldn’t be exporting our energy resources at all. Total energy independence is what will make the country stronger, not the petroleum industry. Independence from fossil fuels will be the key to achieving that.

    Like (8)
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  • Ken
    03/13/2019
    ···

    Who do the American people want to be exploited by? The Mideast or our own country. If anyone thinks prices would be lower in an American led oil delivery think again.

    Like (4)
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  • Chuck
    Voted Yes
    03/13/2019
    ···

    I like Mike because he has good common sense and he is not carried away by Democratic emotions of let’s save the planet with stupid climate change BS! He is absolutely right we need to use our natural resources of oil and coal!

    Like (3)
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  • Andrea
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
    ···

    We really need to get ahead of the curve on renewable energy sources so that we become far less reliant on oil and gas (and coal, for crying out loud) as resources and bargaining chips. The United States should absolutely be at the forefront of developing cleaner, more efficient technologies and fuel strategies.

    Like (9)
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  • Steven
    Voted Yes
    03/16/2019
    ···

    Energy independence allows not be dependent on some other nations. Then we can more freely deal with them.

    Like (1)
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  • David
    Voted Maybe
    03/15/2019
    ···

    Our executive office is so stupid... we should not be encouraging use of oil!

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  • Stewart
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
    ···

    If we had kept the pace up and invested in renewables for the last two or three decades our reliance on foreign oil could have been drastically reduced and our carbon footprint. If only the American expedition had given up after 3 years of trying to find oil in Saudi Arabia then maybe we wouldn’t have been in this situation in the first places.

    Like (8)
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  • Azrael
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
    ···

    Renewable energy Let’s get moving in it

    Like (6)
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  • John
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
    ···

    We need a green energy policy, not more pollution!

    Like (5)
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  • eireprof
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
    ···

    Stop drilling! Wind and solar!

    Like (4)
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  • Fiatagata
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
    ···

    No! It is the person that delivers the message of what is happening in a diplomatic process, not the OIL that represents Greed. Oil can come and go, but a person's ability to control the narrative in any situation is the best diplomatic process.

    Like (4)
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  • Christopher
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
    ···

    More pompous notions of grandeur has very little to do with foreign policy successes. If we haven’t learned by now quiet diplomacy can generate more success than vitriol grandstanding. It’s about time we had an adult back in public office; bombastic, whatever.

    Like (4)
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  • Roland
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
    ···

    “Foreign policy” more oxymoronic and truly foreign to Americans than bile spewed by deplorable racist sexist bigoted xeno islamophobic no nothing charlatan pu**y grabber illegitimate unpopular treasonous potus. America’s foreign policy is truly foreign to America as lied about by sec of state. His support for deplorable etal potus mutes his voice and leaves him feckless. Would never agree with LIAR or person who supports same so NOTHING pompeo says has scintilla of truth to it making his opinions “fake news” perpetually!

    Like (4)
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  • Kodiwodi
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
    ···

    Does anyone really listen to what comes out of this man’s mouth? GIGO

    Like (3)
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  • Marc
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
    ···

    Only dictators use blackmail as leverage

    Like (3)
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  • Kathi13
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
    ···

    He’s wrong. Oil and gas driven energy are helping drive destructive climate change.

    Like (3)
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  • Glowurm
    Voted No
    03/14/2019
    ···

    Pompeo is Full of 🤬. Just a lackey for the Idiot-in- charge. Another blind, kiss-ass follower. Can’t believe what any of them say!

    Like (3)
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  • Thelma
    Voted No
    03/14/2019
    ···

    We are wasting our chance at a future diddling with combustible fuels. If we put everything we’ve got into sustainable, renewable energy sources, we would be energy independent. Period. No more oil and coal dependence! Yes to innovation and a healthy future!

    Like (2)
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  • Phil
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
    ···

    It's BULLSHIT!!!

    Like (2)
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  • Michael
    Voted No
    03/13/2019
    ···

    It’s a non-renewable resource. It cannot be used again.

    Like (2)
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  • Tom
    Voted No
    03/14/2019
    ···

    We have to move away from fossil fuels! We need to develop alternative sources. Cheap oil is only cheap if you don’t include environmental costs.

    Like (2)
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