For over 40 years, America was vulnerable to foreign regimes that used energy as an economic weapon. Americans’ quality of life was diminished by the idea that energy resources were too scarce to support our people.
We always thought that, and actually at the time it was right to think. We didn’t think we had this tremendous wealth under our feet. Many of us remember the long gas lines and the constant claims that the world was running out of oil and natural gas.
Americans were told that our nation could only solve this energy crisis by imposing draconian restrictions on energy production. But we now know that was all a big, beautiful myth. It was fake.
This is a truly amazing moment in the energy sector, and President Trump is seeking to capitalize on the opportunity for the betterment of the American economy and our citizens. For the first time in four decades, the energy story in the United States is about becoming an energy exporter and no longer about peak resources or being beholden to foreign powers.
One of the things we want to do at DOE is to make nuclear energy cool again, from the standpoint of — if you remember when we were kids — well, sorry, you’re nowhere near my age — but when I was younger in the ’60s and a lot of kids wanted to go into the nuclear energy field.
At my alma mater there were a lot of young boys and girls who wanted to be nuclear engineers. That’s not so much the case today because this industry has been strangled all too often by government regulations.