Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm extended an olive branch to the oil and gas industry, telling executives at a meeting in Washington that she recognizes fossil fuels will be around for a long time, even as the Biden administration works to transition away from them to cleaner alternatives.
“We are eager to work with you,” she said at the Wednesday meeting of the National Petroleum Council, an outside federal advisory group that includes executives from Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. “Moving too fast could have unintended consequences that hurt people, cause backlash.”
Her remarks come at the end of a year that’s seen a deterioration in the relationship between the industry and the White House. Biden has accused fossil fuel companies of price gouging and has weighed additional taxes on their profits as well as curbs on exports of refined oil products.
Granholm nodded to that friction on Wednesday, beginning her remarks by acknowledging the “elephant in the room” and that the administration has “butted heads” with industry. Fossil fuel production will need to increase in the near future to meet growing demand, including a shortage of diesel in the Northeast US, she said.