November 13, 2018

DIPLOMACY: Trump Wields His Energy Weapon.

The tip of the spear when it comes to President Trump’s diplomacy is not the tongue of the diplomat, but the power of the pipeline.

The United States is now the world’s No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas, eating away at Washington’s past dependence on foreign producers and oil cartels. And that means the influence of petrostates like Iran and Russia and autocracies around the world.

Trump calls it “energy dominance,” and the freedom it provides has undergirded many of the president’s decisions, from moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem to re-imposing sanctions on Iran, according to administration sources.

“It allows us to impose these sanctions and not upset the world oil market very much,” said Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette. “It’s a fundamentally different posture to be in, in regard to our foreign policy. … It just gives us leverage.”

In negotiations with European, Chinese, and other world leaders, the president has made energy a central theme. Earlier this year, Trump even taunted NATO members at a summit in Brussels, calling them “captives” to Russian energy.

Above all, the comment was aimed at Germany, which is working with the Russian state-run energy firm Gazprom to build the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

I remember when The Smartest President Ever told us that we couldn’t drill our way out of depending on our enemies for energy.

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