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CERAWeek 2023:Energy Secretary Granholm Changes the Tune on Big Oil – Bloomberg

Jennifer Granholm, US secretary of energy, speaks on Wednesday. (Aaron M. Sprecher/Bloomberg)

Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON
EnergiesNet.com 03 10 2023

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm heaped praise on the oil industry Wednesday for boosting output and making the US “a global energy powerhouse.”

What a difference five months makes. It was only October when President Joe Biden was accusing the oil industry of war profiteering by steering revenues to shareholders instead of new drilling.

In her address to the CERAWeek by S&P Global conference in Houston, Granholm even appealed to “creative visionaries” in the oil industry to help transform the energy sector by putting drilling, fracking and gas transportation know-how to work advancing offshore wind farms, geothermal projects and hydrogen.

It’s yet more evidence of how the Biden administration is grappling with a new energy dynamic — one exposed by the war in Ukraine and intensified by the ensuing clamor for US natural gas. The president who campaigned on promises to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels has helped European allies to keep burning them.

On Thursday, the Energy Department is due to meet with industry executives at CERAWeek to examine the role for so-called responsibly sourced natural gas. And that may help win over more European buyers who are still wary of the planet-warming methane emissions associated with US supplies.

There’s another reason for the White House to be less adversarial. Integrated oil and gas companies are poised to be big beneficiaries of the Inflation Reduction Act and infrastructure incentives designed to propel the green energy transition. They are lessees of offshore wind rights along the US East Coast. And many of them are the muscle behind ventures vying for some $8 billion in federal funding for at least six hydrogen hubs around the country.

If that relationship creates discomfort for the Biden administration, it’s an outright affront to climate activists, including the small clutch of protesters rallying outside the conference venue in Houston on Wednesday. “Enough is enough,” said James Hiatt, of campaign group For a Better Bayou, who hails from Lake Charles in Louisiana, a US energy hub. Rather than prolonging the addiction to oil and gas, he said, “the solution is to get off the sauce.”

— Jennifer  A. Dlouhy, senior energy reporter

bloomberg.com 03 10 2023

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