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Energy secretary predicts ‘very rapid’ economic rebound after ‘short term’ coronavirus impact

Brouillette said 'initial impacts' of virus on energy production 'large enough' to merit monitoring

Updated: May 26, 2020 - 5:52pm

Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said Friday that he expects a “modest dip in demand” for oil and gas due to the coronavirus outbreak but predicted that the overall economy in the U.S. and China will experience a “very rapid rebound.”

“I think it's important for us to understand that many of these events are very short term in nature. And what we expect to see is perhaps a modest dip in the demand for oil and gas around the world,” Brouillette said after a bilateral meeting with Israel’s Minister of Energy, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, at the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, in Washington, D. C. 

“I think very shortly, once we understand the containment efforts of the countries around the world, we're going to see a very rapid rebound — not only the economy in China but the economies around the world. And what that does, obviously, is it brings increased demand for energy," he also said. 

So far, individuals have contracted coronavirus in 23 U.S. states. 

Oil and gas stocks are down as the coronavirus outbreak continue to spread. 

Brouillette said the “initial impacts” of the coronavirus on the production of energy have so far been “large enough” that his department will continue to watch the developments over the next few weeks.

"We've been able to identify the protein strains and how they relate to previous viruses that we've seen; things like SARS, and MERS," he continued.

“It's our hope that we can develop perhaps a few options with regard to some potentially off-the-shelf type drugs that would help slow the infection of this type of virus. So we're going to continue that work. We're going to be very aggressive about it."

The coronavirus outbreak is at "pandemic levels" in Israel, according to Dr. Asher Shalmon, the Israeli Health Ministry’s director of international relations.

Steinitz, who served as Israel's finance minister during the financial crisis in 2009, said he is worried that coronavirus might cause a global recession.

"If it will continue like this to spread in the next three or four months, it might create a global crisis or a global recession. And this will have an effect not only on the energy sector, but on everything," he said in response to a question from Just the News.

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