Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm confirmed on Nov. 7 that Americans should expect to pay more to heat their homes this winter than during previous ones.
Responding to a question during an interview on CNN about whether consumers will be paying more, Granholm said that would be the case.
“Yes,” said Granholm, a Democrat who’s also a former Michigan governor. “This is going to happen. It will be more expensive this year than last year. We are in a slightly beneficial position, certainly relative to Europe, because their chokehold of natural gas is significant. They’ll pay five times higher.”
Granholm noted that the United States has “the same problem” regarding fuel transportation and supply before attempting to cast blame on oil and gas companies. At the same time, Granholm pushed the Biden administration-backed $1 trillion infrastructure measure that was recently approved in the House, as well as a larger social spending package.
Granholm sparked controversy on Nov. 5 after she laughed during an interview with Bloomberg News about boosting domestic oil production.
“As you know, of course, oil is a global market. It is controlled by a cartel. That cartel is called OPEC, and they made a decision yesterday that they were not going to increase beyond what they were already planning,” she said.
After taking office in January, President Joe Biden signed executive orders that shut down the Keystone XL pipeline construction, which would have been able to transport oil from oilfields in Alberta, Canada, into the United States. The administration also placed a freeze on some new drilling sites, prompting a recent lawsuit from the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) against the mandate.
In October, Biden asked OPEC-plus—the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies—to produce more oil in order to cool high energy prices. However, the Saudi-led alliance rejected Biden’s plea on Nov. 4, deciding to instead stick with its plan for cautious monthly increases.
“Our view is that the global recovery should not be imperiled by a mismatch between supply and demand,” a recent White House National Security Council statement reads. “OPEC+ seems unwilling to use the capacity and power it has now at this critical moment of global recovery for countries around the world.”
But Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told The Associated Press that the OPEC-plus member countries were “underscoring their commitment to market stability.”
Republicans have criticized the Biden administration for forcing the United States to rely on OPEC-plus to deal with rising gas prices in its attempt to shift to electric vehicles as well as wind and solar power, rather than boosting domestic oil production.