Is the United States a Global Energy Exporter?
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Just imagine that in 2020 the United States is known as a critical energy exporter, a reliable supplier of carbon-neutral electricity technologies and a corporate innovator with planned projects worldwide.
That vision may be achieved if Congress can step up its efforts to back the U.S. nuclear energy industry in the global marketplace. Worldwide, countries are recognizing the benefits of nuclear power and seeking the safest and most reliable technologies. The International Atomic Energy Agency estimates that between 47 and 50 countries are considering introducing nuclear energy for the first time and at least 12 are serious.
It is in our national security interest to ensure that those new nuclear energy programs will not contribute to global nuclear risk, whether from terrorism or by expanding the club of nations with nuclear weapons. And it is in our economic interest to support U.S. nuclear energy technologies to ensure that we spread our high standards for safety and security, improve the competitiveness of American companies, and create jobs here at home.
Fortunately, the model that meets both the national security and economic interests of the United States is sitting before Congress today. In May, President Barack Obama sent an agreement for nuclear energy cooperation with the United Arab Emirates to the Hill. Congress will begin holding hearings on Wednesday to review the merits of the deal.
Successful review of this agreement will allow American companies to compete for the U.A.E. contracts. The agreement will also set the tone for an entirely new relationship with one of America’s most important allies in the Middle East — and position the United States as a global energy exporter of clean nuclear technologies.
This change on the part of the U.S. from buyer to supplier of energy is nothing short of a paradigm shift in the American relationship with a key oil-producing country.