The White House is taking a friendlier approach to oil companies after Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm praised the U.S. oil industry as “a global energy powerhouse.”
- Just a few months ago, President Joe Biden criticized the oil industry for what he called profiteering. Now, Secretary Granholm is praising the industry.
- While speaking at the global energy conference CERAWeek in Houston, the energy secretary encouraged “creative visionaries” in the industry to continue transforming the energy sector by applying their knowledge of fracking and gas transportation to offshore wind farms, hydrogen, and geothermal projects.
- This week, the Energy Department will meet with CERAWeek executives to discuss the role of what they call responsibly sourced natural gas in the energy industry.
Why it’s news
War in Ukraine has disrupted the global energy supply, prompting many countries—including the U.S.—to reevaluate the security of their energy sources. The demand for natural gas in the U.S. has increased, prompting energy companies to produce more.
While President Biden campaigned on promises to reduce fossil-fuel dependency, European energy shortages have required further dependence on oil and gas.
The White House’s friendlier attitude toward oil companies could be because the industry may soon see significant benefits from the Inflation Reduction Act. Infrastructure incentives that promote clean and renewable energy options found in the bill can benefit big oil companies.
Several oil manufacturers own offshore wind rights along the east coast of the U.S. Still, other oil companies are backing clean energy ventures that are looking to get ahold of some of the billions in federal funding for upcoming hydrogen hubs.
What’s not being said
While big oil tends to be a source of funding for renewable energy, some climate activists are unsupportive of their efforts and oppose oil companies receiving funding from the Inflation Reduction Act.
A group of protestors met outside of the CERAWeek conference location. Member of For a Better Bayou James Hiatt told Bloomberg that “enough is enough … the solution (to climate change) is to get off the sauce.”