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Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said that soaring gas prices are a major reason why the U.S. economy must transition away from fossil fuels and toward green energy.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference in Golden, Colorado, announcing a $38 million investment by the Department of Energy to “decarbonize” its National Laboratories, Granholm said that continuing concern about rising prices at the pump was an “exclamation point” on the need to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels, The Hill reported.
During the exchange with reporters, Granholm also referred to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the global oil supply as a reason to push for more green energy. “No one has ever weaponized access to the sun,” Granholm said, referencing Russia’s move to cancel energy exports or demand shipments to be paid in Russian rubles. “No one has ever weaponized access to wind. The way we are energy secure is to build homegrown clean energy, and other countries are looking to that as well.”
Granholm repeated the rhetorical line that gas prices stem from the price of oil around the world, saying that every country in the world is also dealing with high prices and looking for ways to increase supply. “Everybody realizes that gasoline is derived from oil, and oil is traded on a global market, and so every country in the world is facing this,” she said. “Every country is looking for ways to increase supply in the moment — in supply of oil so that we can stabilize.” Granholm added that the U.S. can increase supply by tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and urging oil companies to increase their output, moves the Biden administration has already taken.
Granholm’s comments Wednesday come after she denied that the Biden administration is intentionally driving up gas prices to pressure Americans to transition to alternative energy. “That is absolutely false,” Granholm said Tuesday, again giving the excuse that oil prices are traded on a global market. Granholm also claimed that the Biden administration understands that the nation is not ready to transition yet, and is working to increase supply “today, to bring prices down, [and] to stabilize supply and demand.”
Granholm’s comments come just days after President Joe Biden raised eyebrows when he described the pain American consumers are feeling at the pump as an “incredible transition” that the country will come out stronger for having gone through. “[When] it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over,” Biden said at a press conference Monday.
“The price of gas at the pump is something that I told you — you heard me say before — it would be a matter of great discussion at my kitchen table when I was a kid growing up. It’s affecting a lot of families,” Biden continued. “But we have released over two hundred and, I think, fifty-seven thousand — million barrels of oil, I should say. Us and the rest of the world we convinced to get involved. It’s helped, but it’s not been enough.” But instead of seeking to increase domestic energy production, Biden said he would persuade OPEC countries to increase their output to address high prices.