Thank you for that kind introduction. It is a pleasure to be here with Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Pradhan, Secretary of Energy Brouillette, Ambassador Sandhu, and other senior officials from our two governments.
Over the last 20 years, in both the public and private sectors, I have seen the U.S.-India relationship grow and evolve, so that it now encompasses the entire spectrum of issues in international affairs. We work together on defense, nuclear non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, trade, investment, science and technology, the environment, health, education, agriculture, space, the oceans, and, of course, energy – which has become increasingly important over the last three years. President Trump and Prime Minister Modi made this very clear in 2017 by elevating the energy relationship to a Strategic Energy Partnership, whichseeks to enhance energy security and expand innovation in the energy sector, as well as promote economic growth and prosperity. Holding this Ministerial during the COVID-19 pandemic sends a clear signal from the highest levels of our governments of the importance of this Energy Partnership.
Since elevating our energy relationship to a strategic partnership, energy trade between our countries has increased significantly, especially in coal, oil, and natural gas. Our energy cooperation is central to enhancing India’s ability to diversify its sources of energy and reduce its dependence on unstable regions of the world. We are even working together to optimize our strategic petroleum reserves in order to manage unexpected interruptions in crude oil supplies.
Advances in energy security will require sustained innovation, which will depend on creative, technology-driven solutions. The United States and India engage many of the best minds in our countries in cooperating on clean and advanced coal-technologies that will allow India to continue to use its vast coal resources while significantly reducing harmful emissions and improving air quality. We are also exploring cooperation in new areas such as biofuels, hydrogen production, and carbon capture and utilization.
Recognizing the importance of our energy relationship, my team at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi has representatives from a broad range of U.S. Government agencies, including the Departments of Energy, Commerce, and State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and soon the Development Finance Corporation.
We have also signified the importance of our energy cooperation by recently establishing a permanent Energy Attaché here in New Delhi from the Department of Energy.
As India’s economy continues to grow,its demand for energy will increase. As a friend and partner, the United States is uniquely positioned to support India across all types of energy and the entire range of energy issues, and to work with Indian industry on innovative solutions to meet new market needs. In our view, a strong and energy-secure India will benefit not only our two countries, but the broader region and the world.
Thank you very much.