New York: Despite President Joe Biden’s opposition to fossil fuels, the US will continue to supply petroleum products to India while supporting sustainable energy development, according to State Department Spokesperson Ned Price.
“Our broad energy cooperation with India under the Strategic Energy Partnership is strong and will continue growing even as the administration prioritises climate change issues,” he said on Monday in response to a question whether the Biden administration would continue the exports.
With his commitment to fighting climate change, Biden has been reviewing foreign arrangements involving fossil fuels and in a major step cancelled the controversial Keystone pipeline project, to bring oil from Canada to the US.
The US has become one of the biggest suppliers of crude oil, sending about 84 million barrels, and about 115,000 million cubic feet of natural gas during 2020 till November, according to US government data.
Price said, “When it comes to energy cooperation more broadly, I would say that the US-India energy partnership supports sustainable energy development. It harnesses energy sources to meet 21st century power needs.”
The cooperation, he added, “protects national security and promotes regional and international stability”.
Price recalled that India and the US had worked closely on the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015, when Biden was the vice president, and said, “We will continue to work closely with India on the challenge of climate change.”
“We collaborate on natural gas, renewable energy, nuclear energy, clean coal, technology, smart grids, and unconventional and clean energy sources research for the benefit of our people now and in the future,” he added.
Biden has made fighting climate change a centrepiece of his foreign and domestic policies.
The US was “integrating climate objectives across all of our diplomacy,” he said earlier this month in his first major foreign policy address earlier this month.
India-US cooperation in the energy field grew starting in 2017 under former President Donald Trump who was keen to increase oil and gas exports to India and to wean it away from dependence on Iran on which he imposed an embargo and withdrew an initial exemption granted to India for importing from that country.
US-India energy cooperation took hold under the administration of former President Barack Obama with an emphasis on clean energy, but under Trump, who stepped away from fighting climate change, it turned to exporting to fossil fuel from the US.