A few months ago, we reached the fiftieth anniversary of the 1973 Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil embargo, which inaugurated two generations of weakness in US energy security and diplomacy. However, in the last decade, US energy posture has shifted from one of weakness to one of strength.

The United States has become the global energy superpower. Once the world’s largest importer of energy, it became a net energy exporter in 2019. It has become the largest producer of both oil and natural gas, the largest exporter of natural gas, and the third-largest exporter of oil. In addition, the United States has become the clear leader in the discovery of new energy technologies. It has started to build upon its manufacturing leadership in areas such as oil, gas, and power turbine equipment and is exploring new en-ergy technology manufacturing. And the United States dominates capital raising for investments. No other country comes close to that combination.

As a result of this production, technology, and capital leadership, the United States has become the driver of several key achievements in the global energy markets. It has (1) been the global leader in increasing energy production, (2) generated energy price deflation from its technology innovation, (3) led the world in reduction of tons of emissions, and (4) been the global leader in providing energy market stability and security. These energy strengths of the United States require a new take on how it engages the world. New diplomatic policy is needed based on its energy superpower status. Not only has US diplomacy not caught up with its leadership in these individual areas, but it has also not grasped the power of the combination of these strengths. Most current US energy diplomacy is still moored to the previous energy posture of weakness.

With its current energy posture significantly different than the 1973–2019 timeframe, US energy diplomacy needs to shift to one of positive and engaging strength around topics such as maximizing the energy security of the United States and its allies, energy market stability in an increasingly unstable world, global supply chains, emerging energy technologies, and environmental policy.


US Energy Superpower Status and a New US Energy Diplomacy by Hoover Institution

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