Biden’s Energy Secretary Says Developing Green Energy is ‘The Greatest Peace Plan’
Countries developing green energy for their own security could be “the greatest peace plan the world has ever known,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said during a panel at the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston Wednesday.
S&P Global Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin, who moderated the event, asked Granholm what her counterparts in other nations thought about the worldwide energy market. In response, Granholm noted that the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent energy crisis in Europe prompted many countries to alter their energy supply chains to either develop their own sources of “clean energy” or import from a “diverse array of sources,” including countries that they trust not to “weaponize energy.”
The Biden administration has made green energy a priority issue, and Granholm also used her time on stage to announce a $6 billion decarbonization program, funded by the president’s signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The IRA additionally offers more than $369 billion subsidies for wind, solar and battery production in the U.S., although tax credits for electric vehicle batteries could balloon to more than $130 billion alone, more than four times what they were initially forecasted to cost.
Earlier Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to implement stricter wastewater regulations, which are expected to accelerate the ongoing shuttering of American coal-fired generators. China approved construction for 168 coal-fired power plants in 2022, while U.S. companies have announced plans to shutter more than 70 of the nation’s roughly 210 coal-fired power plants.
“My counterpart in Ireland, Minister [Eamon] Ryan, he often says that being able to be energy secure by accessing your own clean energy, no country has ever weaponized access to the sun, no country has ever weaponized access to the wind, and perhaps that energy security, with allies and with our own clean energy, could be the greatest peace plan the world has ever known,” Granholm said, concluding her thoughts on the matter.
Granholm also noted that the international “focus on energy security” had reached unprecedented levels, and that her counterparts had expressed thanks to Ukraine for “holding the line” against “Soviet imperialism.”