This article originally appeared on StateImpact Pennsylvania.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry traveled to Philadelphia and South Jersey Thursday, speaking to a water conference and visiting a nuclear manufacturing plant in Camden.
Perry toured the Holtec International plant on the Camden waterfront. The company makes storage containers for radioactive spent fuel rods, and is developing small-scale nuclear energy reactors.
The company also wants to buy Exelon’s shuttered Oyster Creek nuclear power plant, which would mean taking over the decommissioning process.
Speaking to a roomful of employees at Holtec, Perry echoed the Obama administration, saying he supports an “all of the above” energy strategy.
“I don’t believe in putting all your eggs in one basket,” Perry said. “Right now the gas industry is a fabulous blessing, and thank god that we have it. But it’s the ability to have a resilient grid, a reliable supply of energy that I think is tantamount to our national security.”
He praised nuclear as well as renewables, as well as the burgeoning trend to export liquefied natural gas, equating shale gas exports to “exporting freedom.”
“What America is doing today by exporting that liquefied natural gas, into 30 countries and five continents, it’s not just about creating jobs and wealth in America, it’s not just the economic side of it, and it’s not just about the national security side of it for countries that may not have our best interest.”
Exports of Marcellus Shale gas began leaving Dominion’s Cove Point LNG plant on the Chesapeake Bay earlier this year. The Cove Point terminal became the second export terminal in the lower 48, after Sabine Pass in Louisiana began exporting LNG two years ago. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is considering applications for about 15 new export terminals.
Perry has proposed subsidies for the coal and nuclear industries, which have suffered due to competition from cheaper natural gas. But it’s unclear if the Trump Administration will sign on to that plan.