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Trump: US Is 'Saudi Arabia of Natural Gas' but OPEC Laughs at Us

Tuesday, 28 February 2012 10:15 AM

The United States is "the Saudi Arabia of natural gas" and has no business buying pricey oil from OPEC producing-nations, says real estate mogul and one-time presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

Supply issues stemming from Middle East unrest coupled with refinery closures in the United States have lifted gasoline prices to a nationwide average of more than $3.70 a gallon, with most experts predicting that figure will easily top $4 a gallon.

The United States shouldn't be in this situation, Trump told CNBC.

Editor's Note:Wall Street Whistleblower Warns of Meltdown, See His Uncensored Interview

The country has ample energy reserves at home, although excessive regulations under the Obama administration are preventing companies from producing oil and natural gas.

"I think it's devastating and much more OPEC than anybody else or anything else. They're sitting around the table and setting the price of oil and laughing at us because we have no leadership," Trump tells CNBC.

President Barack Obama never prioritized energy as an agenda and today, the country is suffering, Trump says.

"Obamacare was a major agenda," Trump said. If Obama "would have spent one-third the effort on energy, we wouldn't even be bringing oil in," Trump said.

Blame regulation for preventing energy companies from tapping the country's oil and natural gas reserves.

"The problem is you can't get through the environmental impact studies. You can't get it approved environmentally, which is ridiculous," Trump said.

"We're the Saudi Arabia of natural gas, and more so, and yet we don't do anything about it," Trump said.

Alternative energy sources such as wind farms are expensive to build and don't meet demand either, Trump adds.

Meanwhile, many blame Iran for the oil price increase. Iran continues to push forward with its nuclear program despite sanctions from the West.

The European Union has moved to halt crude imports from Iran starting in July, but Tehran opted to cut off supply recently to France and the United Kingdom as a pre-emptive countermeasure.

Furthermore, Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway connecting oil-rich Persian Gulf countries with the rest of the world, a move that could send crude oil prices skyrocketing and taking gasoline prices up with them.

Adding to the tensions, fears are growing that Israel is mulling military strikes on Iran without or without the blessings from its allies.

"The price of crude probably has a $20 Iranian risk premium built in," says Phil Flynn, an analyst at PFGBest Research, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"If we could see some light at the end of the tunnel from that situation, we could see a big break in prices — but in the short run, we have to feel the pain."

Editor's Note:Wall Street Whistleblower Warns of Meltdown, See His Uncensored Interview

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Tuesday, 28 February 2012 10:15 AM
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