The Washington Post

The White House’s ‘all of the above’ energy strategy goes global

As President Obama's national security adviser Tom Donilon speaks Wednesday at the launch of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, we thought it would be worth highlighting some of his speech's key points:

1. The U.S. is in great shape because of its oil and natural gas production. "The International Energy Agency has projected that the United States could be the world’s largest oil producer by the end of the decade. Of course, we recognize that these are early days and prediction is a risky business "

2. Rising oil production by America and its allies bolsters our negotiating position abroad. "The substantial increase in oil production in the United States and elsewhere meant that international sanctions and U.S. and allied efforts could remove over 1 million barrels per day of Iranian oil while minimizing the burdens on the rest of the world. And the same dynamic was at work in Libya in 2011 and in Syria today."

3. The administration wants other countries to extract their shale and oil gas resources, too. "We have actively engaged countries such as Poland, Ukraine, Jordan, China, Colombia, Chile and Mexico to exchange lessons on developing unconventional energy resources. We are sharing best practices on issues such as water management, air quality, permitting, contracting, and pricing—because countries and companies have seen from the U.S. experience that creating the right policy and investment environment is critical to successful development."

4. And when it comes to Iraq, the more oil the better. "Iraq’s energy sector has the potential to deepen internal and regional divisions, but it can also help unify the country.  And so we are working to help Iraq expand its oil production, build out its export infrastructure, and diversify its energy transportation routes."

5. Obama wants more renewable energy, though. "Under President Obama, the United States has also made unprecedented investments in clean energy, research and development, and renewable fuels."

6. And global warming remains a problem, what with drought, rising temperatures and extreme weather in the U.S. and overseas.  "This underscores the need – for the sake of our national security -- to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change and to ensure that we are as prepared as possible for the impacts of climate change."

7. So we'll work to broker a global climate agreement to take effect at the end of the decade. "Under the agreement reached at Durban in 2011, we are working to negotiate a robust new international climate agreement by the end of 2015 that would take effect in 2020 and commit all of the major carbon polluting countries to take ambitious action."

Confused at how all these competing policies fit together? You're probably not alone.


Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.



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