Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has a theory on what has fueled the robust U.S. economy the past few years: a "stunning turnaround" in energy independence over the last decade.
“We’re energy dominant now,” Perry said Friday afternoon in front of an invitation-only audience of about 75 local business and political leaders at The Main hotel in Norfolk as part of a national security and energy forum.
Energy conversations had long been focused on peak oil – the theory that further discoveries of significant petroleum reserves were unlikely. Today, he noted, the U.S. is the world’s top oil producing country. Perry predicted the U.S. will be a net crude oil exporting country by 2020.
Perry leads an agency whose responsibilities include oversight of domestic energy production, military weapons and the nation's nuclear reactors. The agency also oversees 17 national research laboratories, including the Jefferson Lab in Newport News.
“The best job I ever had in my life” was being governor of Texas, he said, adding that the “coolest job” is being secretary of energy.