DOE's Moniz: Even if US becomes top oil producer, oil security issues remain

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says US won't be insulated from oil-related security issues, even if shale oil boom makes it world's largest oil producer. Price sensitivity of oil in the global market is a reason.

Michael Bonfigli /The Christian Science Monitor
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz speaks at the St. Regis Hotel on August 1, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist, has served in Barack Obama's Cabinet since May 2013. He was the guest at the Aug. 1 Monitor Breakfast.

The charge that Obama administration energy policies are a "war on coal":

"There is no war on coal.... When it comes to making coal competitive, at least as a competitor in a future low-carbon marketplace, the issue is walking the talk in terms of developing the technologies."

Obama's "all of the above" policy:

"It means that we have to pursue the innovations and the transformations that give all of our energy resources the potential to be marketplace competitors in a low-carbon world.... It is not about fixing market shares...."

Predictions that, with shale oil, the US will soon be the world's largest oil producer:

"A huge impact of that is balance of payments.... We were paying a billion dollars a day for oil imports."

What a drop in US oil imports won't mean:

"That does not eliminate security concerns around oil, exactly because it is a global market so there is price sensitivity ... and as long as our closest allies remain very dependent upon energy imports ... it can constrain our freedom of action."

Risks of hydraulic fracturing (fracking):

"All of these [risks] are manageable ... but manageable still has a requirement of being managed, being managed all the time."

The process for approving the Keystone pipeline to bring oil from Canada:

"The responsibility rests with Secretary [of State John] Kerry to ... make a recommendation...."

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