Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech yesterday titled “Energy diplomacy in the 21st Century.” See a video of the speech, and the Secretary’s official remarks. Below is an excerpt from the remarks, which details the framework of the State Department’s conception of energy as a foreign policy issue.
Energy matters to America’s foreign policy for three fundamental reasons. First, it rests at the core of geopolitics, because fundamentally, energy is an issue of wealth and power, which means it can be both a source of conflict and cooperation. The United States has an interest in resolving disputes over energy, keeping energy supplies and markets stable through all manner of global crises, ensuring that countries don’t use their energy resources or proximity to shipping routes to force others to bend to their will or forgive their bad behavior, and above all, making sure that the American people’s access to energy is secure, reliable, affordable, and sustainable.
Second, energy is essential to how we will power our economy and manage our environment in the 21st century. We therefore have an interest in promoting new technologies and sources of energy – especially including renewables – to reduce pollution, to diversify the global energy supply, to create jobs, and to address the very real threat of climate change.
And third, energy is key to economic development and political stability. And we have an interest in helping the 1.3 billion people worldwide who don’t have access to energy. We believe the more they can access power, the better their chances of starting businesses, educating their children, increasing their incomes, joining the global economy – all of which is good for them and for us. And because corruption is often a factor in energy poverty as well as political instability, we have an interest in supporting leaders who invest their nations’ energy wealth back into their economies instead of hoarding it for themselves.