By Ron Bousso and David Gaffen HOUSTON (Reuters) – A glance at the attendee list at one of the world’s largest energy industry events in Houston this week left little question about the growing influence of the United States over global oil politics. Present: top U.S. diplomat Mike Pompeo. Absent: leading Saudi and Russian officials, and most OPEC nations. As the United States weans itself off foreign oil imports – thanks to booming domestic production – the complex web of politics and business interests that have shaped decades of Washington’s energy diplomacy in the Middle East and beyond is changing. That shift was unmistakable in Houston this week. In his keynote address, Pompeo spoke of exploiting the power the United States is accruing through rising energy supply in “punishing bad actors”; he laid out a vision of working with energy firms to isolate Iran and Venezuela; and he emphasized the need to protect oil supplies by countering China’s moves to control the South China Sea. The Secretary of State delivered the half-hour speech to a packed room of energy executives, while dozens more watched via jumbo screens at the adjacent convention centre. It marked the type of reception usually reserved… Read full this story
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