Concerns about trade wars, the future of NAFTA and impending steel and aluminum tariffs loomed over a major energy conference this week, but U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the overall tone in the energy industry is one of "sheer optimism."
The Trump administration aims to encourage innovation in the energy sector by scaling back regulations, according to Perry. The prospect of a future bound in less red tape and the technology-driven surge in U.S. oil and gas production is what's underpinning that optimism, in his view.
"It's less concern than it is pure optimism. Everybody's got concerns about their particular sector, whether it's the utility guys or the infrastructure guys," Perry told CNBC on the sidelines of the CERAWeek by IHS Markit energy conference.
"There are concerns out there. Don't get me wrong, but the overall message here is one of just sheer optimism."