Former NY Mayor Giuliani says natural gas key to energy, economy
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani recalls audiences laughing when he would suggest during his campaign in the 2008 GOP presidential primary that America could achieve energy independence.
That mirth has been silenced by the U.S. natural gas boom, he said on Friday, explaining that when he talked about America’s energy independence during his presidential run, he was referring to the United States, Canada and Mexico.
“The tragedy is we’re not taking advantage of it,” Giuliani said. “There will eventually come a time where we have an administration in Washington that understands what this can mean to America.”
Giuliani gave the keynote address to about 160 industry experts and researchers at the Omni William Penn at the 5th Law of Shale Plays Conference presented by the Institute for Energy Law and the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation.
For an hour, he spoke during an informal conversation with Scott Segal, a fellow partner at Bracewell and Giuliani, an international law firm whose expertise includes the energy industry. Giuliani is a lawyer and former U.S. Attorney.
He criticized the Obama administration for not doing enough to support the gas industry. He praised the potential of gas exports and suggested the industry finance an advertising campaign in advance of the 2016 presidential race to “educate” citizens on the economic and energy benefits of natural gas.
“I think that the industry as a whole should figure out its differences. It should figure out how to do a campaign in 2015,” he said. Such a campaign, he said, could eliminate partisanship in the issue.
Since ending his term as mayor in 2001, Giuliani became a partner at the law firm Bracewell and Giuliani and founded Giuliani Partners, a professional services firm in emergency preparedness and crisis management. He’s worked with clients in the energy industry and traveled globally, saying that the promise of exporting natural gas could restore domestic prices to “natural” free-market levels and be a geopolitical tool. U.S. exports could help wean European countries, such as Ukraine and Germany, from their dependence on Russia for energy supplies, he claims.
“I believe it would be stronger than any of the sanctions,” he said.
From 2011 to 2012, Pennsylvania was the fast-growing natural gas-producing state in the nation, according to the federal Energy Information Administration. And companies are preparing to export the abundant supplies of gas.
Tim Boersma, a fellow at the Energy Security Initiative at the Brookings Institution, said one company has gone through the federal regulation process to export liquefied natural gas, and more are likely to follow suit.
“It is very important what’s been happening in the United States,” he said. “The fact that a country that was destined to become one of the world’s largest importers of liquefied natural gas is a potentially a net exporter is a very substantial shift in the landscape.”
Melissa Daniels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8511 or [email protected].