Energy Sec Says the War in Ukraine 'Creates a Moment' for the US to Act on a Transition to Green Energy


Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm believes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine creates an urgency for the U.S. Congress to act on a bill to transition the country to green energy.

During an event on Wednesday, a reporter asked the energy secretary if the administration “should pursue a stand-alone green energy package” because “you don’t have a lot of time left to get something — a reconciliation bill — through a Democrat-only Congress. Midterms are coming up.”

“As you can imagine, and as you have heard, there is a lot of conversation that is happening right now in saying that this crisis in Europe and the crisis our allies are facing and the reduction of supply of natural gas and oil from Russia creates a moment that we should be acting [on],” Granholm responded.

She continued, “We heard President Zelenskyy. We do not want to see any country that is held hostage to Vladimir Putin. And this is a moment for Congress to be able to act…The bottom line is that this is a moment to have this happen. It is an urgent moment.”

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Gas prices have surged in the nearly three weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting conservatives to call for increased domestic production of oil to bring prices down.

However, administration officials argue the way to prevent future energy crises is to transition to green energy.

Last week, White House Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese told Yahoo Live, “This crisis should underscore the only way to reduce our dependence on oil is to use less oil.”

“If this crisis is going to teach us anything, it’s that over the long-term, the only real energy security comes from reducing our economy’s dependence on oil and other fossil fuels,” he added.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki made similar comments last month when she said that the U.S. needs not just to “reduce our dependence on foreign oil” but “oil in general.”

“We need to look at other ways of having energy in our country and others,” she told ABC News.

But, The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler notes that in the short term, investments in green energy would not make the country energy independent.

“You still need oil to drive cars and trucks and fly planes. At this point, the electric-vehicle market is not growing fast enough to make much of a difference in the current standoff with Russia,” he said, adding, “But long-run investments over time could begin to make a difference.”

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