I'm cleaning out my notebook from yesterday's "Energy Week" event at the Energy Department, which included remarks from President Trump and Energy secretary Rick Perry.
Post-Paris positioning: Perry has something of a rejoinder to the views of foreign policy analysts who say bailing on the Paris agreement is bad news for U.S. diplomatic relations and adds to the erosion of faith in the U.S. commitment to working with its allies.
In his remarks onstage, Perry suggested that expanded U.S. energy exports to Europe are more important to foreign leaders than Paris, casting the benefits of those energy relations as more weighty in the international arena than the fallout from leaving the climate deal.
What he said: Perry noted that ahead of Trump's early June decision on Paris, there was pressure from Group of Seven energy ministers to remain in the global warming agreement, but, he added:
"Then we would go into our bilats [bilateral meetings] and they would go 'How about some of that LNG you've got, How do we buy your LNG, How do we buy your coal?' And it was really interesting. It was a political issue for them. This whole Paris thing is a public relations, political issue for them."
Perry talked up U.S. LNG and coal as a counterweight to Russian supplies to Europe, including Poland and the Ukraine, noting "We are in a position to be able to clearly create a hell of a lot more friends by being able to deliver to them energy and not being held hostage by some countries, Russia in particular." This, he said, will have more to do with "keeping our allies free and building their confidence in us than practically anything else that I've seen...It's a powerful message around the world right now."