Energy policy has featured prominently in the nascent debate between the 114th Congress and the Obama administration. Republican leaders vowed to hold a vote on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, and the White House announced that the president would not sign the legislation if it passed. But the pipeline is just one of an array of issues that affect energy security, environmental challenges, and foreign-policy priorities.
Over the past few years, the United States has emerged as an energy superpower, overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s largest producer of oil and gas. Global energy markets have taken note: Oil prices have fallen more than 50% since summer, a steep drop contributing to uncertainty among investors–and stock market fluctuations in recent weeks. Current dynamics allow the U.S. to define a path on energy and the environment that enhances its global leadership role (in contrast to all of that talk about U.S. decline). Energy policy is an important tool in U.S. engagement–leaders in Washington shouldn’t squander this moment with political dysfunction and polarization.This article was originally published in Washington Wire.