In testimony today, June 13, to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcomittee on Energy and Power, newly appointed U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz reviewed the country’s energy situation since President Obama’s first inauguration. Oil and gas production, he said, has increased in the U.S. in each of the past five years, and oil imports are at a twenty-year low. Manufacturing and manufacturing jobs have increased as a result of increases in domestic natural gas production, which has also led to reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.
Moniz also said that he expects increases in domestic natural gas production to continue. Last month the Energy Department conditionally authorized the Freeport LNG Terminal on Quintana Island, Texas, which is the second proposed facility to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. In reply to questions, Moniz promised that decisions on gas export itself would be definitely be taken by the end of the calendar. He will likely rely for this in part upon a study made by the MIT Energy Initiative, which he headed prior to becoming Energy Secretary last month. Moniz is a nuclear physicist by training and served in the Department of Energy under President Clinton.