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March 28, 2019 4:18 pm

Top US Official: Energy Independence Enables Trump to Take Stronger Pro-Israel Positions

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An oil tanker is being loaded at Saudi Aramco’s Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia, May 21, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Ahmed Jadallah / File.

The US shale boom has enabled the Trump administration to more strongly back Israel, top American official told the Financial Times.

The lack of dependence on foreign oil has “allowed the president to make foreign policy decisions that simply were not available to previous presidents, at least not in my lifetime,” Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said in remarks published on Thursday.

“The freedom that this allows this president, and future presidents … is simply stunning,” he added.

This marked a “radically different” situation from 1973-74, when the Arab members of OPEC imposed an oil embargo after the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, Brouillette noted.

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Brouillette pointed to last year’s relocation of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and this week’s recognition by Trump of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights as moves made possible by this development.

“Our foreign policy choices are affected by our new position in the marketplace,” he said. “Those decisions would not have been made if we were still dependent upon others to provide oil and gasoline to the United States.”

“Many policymakers in Washington still think of energy policy in terms set by the 1970s,” Brouillette continued. “That thinking really doesn’t reflect today’s global integrated oil market.”

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