President Trump said Tuesday night: “We are now, very proudly, an exporter of energy to the world.”
And it’s true that the United States exports energy. It has for decades. It just imports a lot more.
The gap has been shrinking in recent years. But the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates the United States will keep importing more energy than it exports until 2026 — maybe sooner and maybe later, depending on prices, world demand and regulation.
American exports of one form of energy, crude oil, are booming. But that’s not because of Trump. U.S. oil production has climbed substantially for a decade. And Congress repealed a law in 2015 and allowed U.S. producers to send crude to countries other than Canada.
The United States recently became a net exporter of natural gas. But that was because a technological revolution made it easier to extract an abundance of gas from shale formations.
Trump has cut environmental regulations. He has also pushed for pipelines, infrastructure and export deals, all of which would help American energy companies.