Shale Shock: How to Use America's Energy Market as a Foreign Policy Tool

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the G-20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bonn, Germany. Flickr/Department of State

If Tillerson and Perry play the energy card right, then they can reduce America's vulnerabilities.

Tillerson noted during his Senate hearing, “America still holds all the aces—we just need to draw them out of that deck.” If the Trump administration and the two Texans, Tillerson and Perry, play the energy card right, then the United States can reduce the vulnerabilities of its European allies, co-opt its rivals like China and rein in its adversaries like Russia—all while benefiting its own producers. For that to happen, however, the United States must solidify its position as the leading player in the global energy markets and promote open, secure and transparent flows of natural gas.

The Trump administration and the Department of Energy should embrace the country’s newfound energy prowess to take advantage of the important role natural gas and LNG will play in the coming decades and look to the far future. In time, the role of nonfossil energy sources will rise, driven by markets, technology and climate change, and again the United States will have every opportunity to emerge as the global leader. This approach would leverage economic and political gains for the nation during the term of the new administration and in the years to come.

Agnia Grigas, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, is the author of The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas and Beyond Crimea: The New Russian Empire. Follow her @AgniaGrigas and Grigas.net.

Image: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the G-20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bonn, Germany. Flickr/Department of State

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