Brouillette argued that natural gas is essential to keep the economy going as demand rises, but fracking won’t kill the coal industry.
“Perhaps it’s used a little bit less to produce electricity, but it has a bright future in the sense that we can start to develop some of the rare earth elements that can be extracted from coal, which are very important for the production of grid-scale battery storage,” Brouillette explained. “And that's important to the renewable industry, the renewable electric industry. So still a very bright future.”
The potential elimination of fracking technologies that produce cheap natural gas is a concern among workers in states like Pennsylvania, the energy secretary added. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, about 19 million jobs could be affected by legislation banning the practice.
Under President Trump's policy of energy production in all forms, Brouillette explained, the American economy has grown by 17%, with carbon emissions by 14%. Moving forward, he added, the U.S. aims to stick with its “all of the above” strategy.
“Yes, we want to pursue renewable energy. Yes, we want to pursue fossil energy development. Yes, we want to pursue nuclear energy development, which is emissions-free,” he said. “It takes all of those things in order to produce the amount of energy that we need to grow this economy."