HH: I conclude this week with Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. Secretary Perry, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show and Merry Christmas to you.
RP: I love concluding with Hugh Hewitt. How are you, my friend?
HH: I am terrific. And did you have a good, great or somewhat in between year at Energy?
RP: I think we had a really good year. I’m not sure, you know, coming out of the state of Texas and the things that we did there over about a 14 year period of time, I know what the word great means. So we are working our way towards great. I think the really good years both for America and for energy, and obviously for the Department of Energy are in front of us. So I just put it, we had a good year. We did some really great things. I mean, when you start thinking about, Hugh, think about ten years ago. If someone had said America is going to be the number one largest producer of oil and gas in the world by 2017, you would have taken that bet, I would suspect.
HH: I would have. I would have. I had on…
RP: And that’s exactly what we find ourselves in. We are exporting, I think there are 26 countries now that are taking American liquefied natural gas, driving a huge amount of jobs all across the country, building infrastructure particularly along the Gulf Coast for those LNG export facilities. And here’s the most important part, from my perspective. We are delivering freedom all around the world to those countries who are our allies who are buying that LNG who had historically been held hostage with some countries that maybe didn’t have our best interest in mind.
HH: Amen. The one area I hope we can continue to talk about is the nuclear industry. Last time you were on our show, we talked about domestic uranium enrichment, and the lack thereof. Any progress in that area?
RP: Yeah, a good bit, and here’s, the administration, Donald Trump sent a real clear message not just to us at the Department of Energy, but across the board to our allies around the world. America is going to get back and be the world’s leader in civil nuclear power. That’s great news to American companies that have been staggeringly held down by previous administrations when it came to nuclear power. It’s a great message to, for instance, our allies in the Middle East. I was in Saudi Arabia ten days ago having conversations with the leadership of Saudi about America being their partner in the buildout of a massive civil nuclear program in that part of the world. You think about them, and you think about oil and gas, but they realize that they need to have an all of the above energy strategy as well, and they want to be partners with the United States. So I think it sent powerful signals across the country. The Georgia Public Utility Commission, they voted, I think last week, to continue with the Vogtle Project down there.
HH: Oh, good.
RP: So a lot of powerful messages both internationally and domestically that the United States is back in the civil nuclear game, and going to lead the world in it.
HH: And we need to enrich uranium here. We’ll talk more about that. I also, though, want to talk about the national security strategy that came out this week. I had Nadia Schadlow on earlier, and a whole section of that is embracing American energy domination, dominance.
HH: That’s muscular, and it’s necessary, Secretary Perry.
RP: Yeah, and Dina Powell, who was over in the White House, who was leading that effort to put together that national security plan that you make mention to, and it’s very, very clear that this administration is committed to an all of the above energy strategy, and it is, its foundation is in the security of this country. Our being able to control the energy sources, whether it’s oil and gas, whether it’s nuclear, whether it’s any of the renewables, that we control that, that we have a grid that is resilient, that we are able to protect that grid whether it’s from natural disasters like a vortex that would come down from the Arctic, or whether it is from terrorist attacks on the cybersecurity side of things. So powerful messages coming out of this administration about energy security, and then the economic side of that can’t be understated, Hugh, powerful, powerful message. You know, the President’s going to be signing the tax bill today that sends, I mean, we’ve already seen a bit of a roll up to that, just because people were feeling, I think, ebullient, if you will, that this thing is going to pass. The money that’s going to come back into this country from offshore that’s been held out there because of this onerous tax burden, cutting the corporate rate down to 21%, man, I’m telling you, 2018 has the potential to be one of the great years in American history – economically, security-wise, and I think from just sending a message of hey, America’s back in the game, and we’re back in the game in a big way.
HH: I am going to leave it on that note, Secretary Perry. I hope you are right. 2018 does have an enormous amount of potential, and I know American energy is going to play a part of that amazing year ahead. Thank you, Secretary Perry.
End of interview.