On November 5, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm appeared from the U.N. climate conference in Glasgow (COP26) on Bloomberg Television program Bloomberg Surveillance, where co-anchor Tom Keene, after noting states are experiencing above average gas prices, asked the secretary: “What is the Granholm plan to increase oil production in America?”
Granholm’s initial reaction was amusement, responding to the suggestion that she has power over global markets as “hilarious.” Granholm then went on to explain the limited role the U.S. government has in setting the price of oil and why moving away from our oil dependency is ultimately the solution to volatile energy prices.
When pressed further on the issue by co-anchor Jonathon Ferro, Granholm debunked the notion that oil companies operating in the U.S. are being restricted from producing, noting that “there are 23 million acres of public lands — that includes offshore and onshore — where there are leases that are not being used right now by oil and gas companies. Over 7,000 leases have been issued, and the oil and gas companies are not using them. They’re stockpiling these leases. Why is that?”
Following the interview, Javier Blas, chief energy correspondent at Bloomberg News, tweeted a 40-second clip of the nearly 7 minute exchange between Granholm and the hosts that captures only Granholm’s initial reaction without providing the substantive portion of her response.
While the initial question in and of itself seems strange coming from an analyst who clearly understands energy markets and the limits of the U.S. presidency on gas prices, the clipped response only reinforces the fact that this was not a good faith attempt to hold the Biden administration accountable for energy prices. Instead, it was a sleight of hand to attack the administration’s climate agenda by falsely suggesting that one is impacting the other.
Moreover, Blas’ tweet does nothing to advance any understanding of the issues associated with rising oil prices, let alone acknowledge the realities of the climate crisis. What it will likely accomplish is simply providing fodder for baseless attacks on Biden officials by right-wing media.
In fact, within hours of the interview, Fox News had already weaponized the clip to attack Granholm and suggest the administration is out of touch. Other right-wing media figures are also following suit:
Granholm is a former senior adviser at Media Matters.