Energy Secretary Granholm Claims She Doesn’t Know How to Boost Gas Production
President Joe Biden’s energy secretary, Jennifer Granholm, expressed ignorance ahead of a high-profile meeting with executives, stating she does not know what oil companies need to produce more gasoline.
“It’s not about funding, but perhaps there is something that they need — some additional help with identifying a supply chain issue,” Granholm told reporters during the daily briefing at the White House on Wednesday. “We — I just don’t know. So we’ll see.”
Granholm, who is in charge of America’s energy, is expected to meet with oil company CEOs on Thursday, weeks after gas prices rose to new record highs.
She tried to extend positive feelings about the upcoming meeting, despite spending her entire career as energy secretary condemning fossil fuels.
“This is an honest, earnest conversation tomorrow asking how can we be partners in providing relief for people at the pump,” she said.
Granholm’s tone was different from Biden’s stern letter to oil companies last week in which he threatened to use his emergency war powers if they do not produce more gasoline.
Oil company executives have already expressed publicly what they need from the administration to help produce more oil and gas.
The American Petroleum Institute issued a list of ten policies that the Biden administration could act on if they were serious about increasing the production of fuel.
In a statement last week, ExxonMobil also listed a series of actions the Biden administration could do to promote gas production.
The statement read:
In the short term, the U.S. government could enact measures often used in emergencies following hurricanes or other supply disruptions — such as waivers of Jones Act provisions and some fuel specifications to increase supplies. Longer term, government can promote investment through clear and consistent policy that supports U.S. resource development, such as regular and predictable lease sales, as well as streamlined regulatory approval and support for infrastructure such as pipelines.
In a letter published Tuesday, Chevron CEO Mike Wirth criticized Biden and his administration for being more willing to “criticize, and at times vilify, our industry.”
“We need clarity and consistency on policy matters ranging from leases and permits on federal lands to the ability to permit and build critical infrastructure, to the proper role of regulation that considers both costs and benefits,” he wrote.
Biden responded by mocking executives’ concerns.
“I didn’t know they’d get their feelings hurt that quickly,” he said Tuesday, calling Wirth and other CEOs “mildly sensitive” for their response.
Biden said Sunday he will not meet with the oil industry executives, asserting he has administration officials to take the lead.
Instead, he demanded that gas stations start lowering prices.
“These are not normal times. Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you are paying for the product,” Biden said in a speech Wednesday. “Do it now. Do it today.”