Editor’s note: Clarion Energy’s Kevin Clark is on the ground in Houston for CERAWeek and is reporting the latest from the conference.

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm called on oil and gas companies to increase production due to the growing energy crisis as Russia continues its attack on Ukraine.

Granholm made the comments to CERAWeek conference attendees on March 9. The U.S. earlier had banned imports of Russian oil and gas, the latest in a series of sanctions designed to punish Russia for its war against Ukraine. Oil and gas prices have sharply increased since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.

“We are on a war footing—we are in an emergency—and we have to responsibly increase short-term supply where we can right now to stabilize the market and to minimize harm to American families,” said Granholm.    

Granholm praised the resolve of the Ukrainian people and companies like BP, Exxon and Shell which are withdrawing from their company’s Russian operations.

“Their bravery should inspire all of us to do our part, to enlist in this battle in the ways we can,” she said.

Granholm also addressed the other crisis of climate change, saying that DOE is serious about decarbonizing while providing reliable energy that “doesn’t depend on foreign adversaries.”  

“For over a hundred years, the oil and gas industry has powered our nation and gotten us where we are today. We’re eternally grateful for that,” she said. “And we want you to power this country for the next hundred years with zero-carbon technologies.”

She added the U.S. needs to deploy clean technologies as fast as possible but is under “no illusion that every American will get an EV or a heat pump tomorrow or next month or next year.”

The Infrastructure Law signed in 2021 provides over $60 billion primarily for new major clean energy demonstration and deployment programs, more than tripling DOE’s annual funding for energy programs.

“I’m here to tell you that the Department of Energy, and the entire Biden administration, is ready to work with you to seize the moment of opportunity for clean energy,” Granholm said. “We’ll only be able to meet these challenges of oil and gas supply and climate change by working together.” 

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