Top Biden official urges oil companies to speed up low-carbon efforts

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm speaks during the 2023 CERAWeek by S&P Global conference in Houston on March 8. Photo: Aaron M. Sprecher/Bloomberg via Getty Images

HOUSTON — Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has a message for oil executives and European governments wary of U.S. policy: Low-carbon transition isn't a zero-sum game.

Driving the news: Granholm, speaking at the CERAWeek by S&P Global conference Wednesday, pushed companies to invest more in climate-friendly sources that are cousins of their core business.

  • "You have the skillsets and knowledge to build some critical technologies at scale," she told the conference, while lauding companies already moving that way.
  • Granholm cited geothermal, offshore wind, and hydrogen transport as ripe for their knowledge, adding climate law incentives provide 10 years of"carrots you can take to the bank."

Catch up fast: Senior White House aide John Podesta delivered a similar message to industry earlier in the week, citing companies' existing diversification but urging more.

  • He urged them to "grab the baton and to run with it" now that the climate law provides new support.

Of note: Granholm praised the industry for boosting domestic oil production amid the Russia crisis in the speech, which Bloomberg notes was a vibe shift.

The intrigue: She put a positive spin on tensions with EU officials over U.S. subsidies for low-carbon tech manufacturing projects.

  • Granholm pointed out that's pushing Europe to boost support and called "friendly competition" helpful to the world.

Yes, but: There's no way to completely paper over the divides.

  • For instance, Granholm said: "We don't want to stoke trade wars or anything like that, but we are serious about bringing back supply chains into this country."
  • Oil execs argue the White House is stifling development, including what they fear will be a de facto rejection of ConocoPhillips' big Willow project in Alaska.

Source: Read Full Article