On 5/4/2022, Senator Kennedy questioned Sec. Jennifer Granholm at Energy & Water Approps subcommittee.
Kennedy: … to stop you and ask you a question. I saw the president’s statement I want you to correct me if I if I’m wrong. President about a month ago maybe a few weeks ago time runs together said I want to expand LNG exports but then I looked at the fine print of his statement he said but I want the plants that produce the LNG to be powered only with clean energy and he then he said but I am not going to change the regulatory environment for oil and gas and shortly after that he came out with new proposed rules for NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) that will make it impossible to build a pipeline don’t you think that’s misleading?
Granholm: I’m not sure exactly what statement you’re referring to but he did go to Europe and said that we will provide another 15 billion cubic meters per year we will increase our partnership with them so as a result the department of energy has permitted four additional LNG terminals allowing their volumes …
Kennedy: but don’t you realize the impact that the proposed changes in NEPA are going to have on the oil and gas industry
Granholm: the proposed changes in NEPA are to make sure I’m not in the EPA it’s not my … the intent there is to continue to use technology to clean up fossil fuel emissions like methane and so making sure that we’ve got facilities that are not contributing to the problem … make sure that they aren’t contributing further to methane leakage
Kennedy: but we tried to make NEPA a little more palatable not get rid of it just say you’ve got to give us a decision in a couple of years in the infrastructure bill which the president is very proud of and he has talked about it and taken for credit for it that’s not a pejorative statement every chance he’s got but then you turn right around and undo everything that was done in the infrastructure bill with these new proposed rules for NEPA and I know it’s coming from EPA but madam sector you’re extraordinarily intelligent I’ve watched your career for years you know as well as I do the impact this is going to have on LNG plants on pipelines on fossil fuel infrastructure it’s going to it’s going to slow it down to the pace of an amoeba
Granholm: with respect I fully disagree okay I think that you can have I think you can accelerate permitting and still respect the environment and not slow down the pace of energy production.
Kennedy: I’m also disappointed in the fact that the department and that’s why I say it’s clear to me the Biden administration believes in a weaker military you your decision not to fund one of the major weapons that the united states has at a time when our security is clearly threatened … I’d like to hear what you have to say great.
Granholm: let me focus on a couple of things I think we can agree on: one is the importance of nuclear power … wind and power become clean dispatchable baseload power here’s what we don’t agree: this administration believes in the importance of decarbonizing the fossil fuel industry … we can decarbonize natural gas for example and couple it with carbon capture and sequestration we’re also believe big believers in the technology associated with direct air capture and other carbon dioxide removal strategies …
Kennedy: After 15 months I think any fair-minded person who’s paid attention would have a general idea of the principles of the Biden administration and it seems to me that the Biden administration believes in bigger government, it believes in higher taxes, it believes in more regulation, it believes in more debt based on the president’s proposed budget it believes in a weaker military not by its words but by its actions. I think it believes in higher energy prices I think that the Biden administration hates fossil fuels on which at the moment, the greatest economy in all of human history depends. I think that’s a mistake and I think the Biden administration thinks that higher energy prices will somehow wean the American people off of fossil fuels.
Kennedy: The attitude seems to be not in words but indeed that we can see the future better than the American people because we’re experts and the American people just need to take their medicine with these high energy prices and in the long run they’ll be better off because we’ll use them to get rid of fossil fuels.
Kennedy: Now let me talk about your budget. It’s not going to pass in its current form I think you know that I support wind and power but I’m an all-of-the-above energy type guy. I think eventually we should and I don’t mean sometime in the next century we should realistically ask ourselves when are wind and power going to be able to stand on their own feet without subsidies. I also believe in nuclear power I can tell from your budget that that it at least some of your woke colleagues at the department don’t. I also believe in thermo or in hydroelectric power. I believe in hydrogen I’ve said it but I’m going to say it again I believe in nuclear and I think you should ignore the woke voices I think it’s clean energy and the new technology with these small modular nuclear reactors has great potential you shortchange them in your proposed budget that tells me a lot but I also believe in fossil fuels and I think it’s wholly unrealistic certainly now certainly for the foreseeable future and maybe forever to think that this world can run without fossil fuels I’m very disappointed in your budget. Its lack of emphasis on geoengineering I know your woke colleagues don’t like geoengineering because they think it takes our eye off the ball of climate change but I think that’s a mistake I think climate change is real but I think it will be solved or lessened by American ingenuity it won’t be done by the federal government.