President Donald Trump touted booming American energy production and exports during his State of the Union Address Tuesday night to thunderous applause, but not from Democrats.
“We have unleashed a revolution in American Energy – the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world,” Trump said. “And now, for the first time in 65 years, we are a net exporter of energy.”
Republicans stood up and cheered the news, while Democrats stayed in their seats. However, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin applauded Trump’s touting of booming American energy production.
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley went do far as to tweet in response, “The United States is now the number one source of the fossil fuels creating a climate crisis that is literally killing people and destroying Americans’ livelihoods.”
The United States is now the number one source of the fossil fuels creating a climate crisis that is literally killing people and destroying Americans’ livelihoods.
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) February 6, 2019
Merkley, who’s considering a 2020 presidential run, is one of many Democrats who outright oppose fossil fuels because of global warming. Many Democrats have rallied around New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s so-called “Green New Deal” that aims to eliminate fossil fuels within 10 years.
Indeed, U.S. oil production broke records last year, outpacing both Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s largest hydrocarbons producer. Production peaked at 11.7 million barrels per day in November, thanks to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
The U.S. is already a net exporter of natural gas and coal, and Energy Department forecasters expect net U.S. oil and petroleum product exports in 2020.
Trump attributed the growth of American energy to his administration’s policies, which include rolling back Obama-era energy regulations and opening up new lands for development.
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