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Trump’s Vow to Break From OPEC Echoes Old Refrain
Trump’s Vow to Break From OPEC Echoes Old Refrain

Trump’s Vow to Break From OPEC Echoes Old Refrain

Trump’s Vow to Break From OPEC Echoes Old Refrain

US President Donald Trump’s pledge to make America independent from OPEC is not a new refrain in Washington.
His “America First Energy Plan” posted on the White House website Friday does not just echo his own campaign pledges but also former president George W. Bush’s vow to cut imports from the Middle East when he famously said the nation was “addicted to oil.” 
Shipments from OPEC rose 10% during Bush’s time in office, Bloomberg reported.
It is not an easy task. It would mean replacing about 3 million barrels a day of imports. That is about three times as much as East Coast refineries consume.
Saudi Arabia and Venezuela lead the pack of OPEC suppliers to the US. They account for more than half of US imports from the 13-nation group.
Bush said he would put the country on course to reduce oil imports from the Middle East by more than 75% by 2025. His bold statement evoked a reaction from leaders of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. 
“We do believe that energy issues cannot be handled in a unilateral way,” said Edmund Daukoru, then-Nigerian minister of energy and secretary general of OPEC. “We all have to work together toward global energy security.”
Trump’s goal may not be completely unobtainable as US oil production has been on the rise and signs point toward possible energy independence. To achieve that, though, the country may need to reconsider a push for exports that was supported by Republicans. 
Since scrapping restriction on sales to countries other than Canada at the end of 2015, US crude exports have risen to more than 700,000 barrels a day.
"He will take steps to increase energy output," Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts, said by phone. "Regardless of what he does, the US is getting closer to energy independence."
Trump and Bush are not alone. “Every president since Richard Nixon has promised to work for energy independence but most have done nothing,” Lynch said.

 

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