Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the senior U.S. energy official publicly urged oil and natural gas companies to increase output in order to alleviate the country’s energy crisis.
During the CERAWeek by S&P Global energy conference in Houston on Wednesday, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm addressed a packed ballroom, “We are on a war footing.”
The governor said, “We are in an emergency, and we must properly expand short-term supply where we can right now to stabilize the market and ensure that American families suffer the least amount of hardship.”
According to Granholm, the country is “eternally grateful” to oil and gas companies for powering the nation for the past century — and hopes that they will continue to do so for another 100 years with zero-carbon technology. President Joe Biden had previously expressed disdain for the industry, which Granholm appeared to be extending an olive branch to. She also emphasized the important role that liquefied natural gas exports play in alleviating supply restrictions in the European Union.
In the wake of the largest energy meeting in the Americas, oil executives have spent the last week attacking the White House for encouraging OPEC nations to increase production rather than local producers. Despite the fact that oil prices have surged to their greatest levels since 2014, the major independent shale businesses have said that they would not expand expansion without long-term backing from Biden.
At the moment, “oil and gas production must increase in order for us to satisfy present demand,” Granholm said, noting that increasing short-term oil supply is not in conflict with the administration’s commitment to renewable energy sources. It’s possible to walk and chew gum at the same time, she claims.
Amos Hochstein, a State Department advisor, has previously described the industry’s unwillingness to expand output as “appalling.”
“We are hopeful that we will be able to enhance output this year,” he said.
Granholm’s comments were more conciliatory in nature. Specifically, she said that the Department of Energy and the Biden Administration is prepared to collaborate with oil and gas firms in order to diversify their energy portfolio and include sustainable fuels and technology. Moreover, she said that the United States may be forced to release additional oil from its strategic stockpiles.
“I hope that the year 2022 will be remembered as the year in which the world made significant strides in improving energy security and combating climate change,” she added. “In order to do this, and to be on the right side of history, we must collaborate.”